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HOKISHE SEMA is presently the 
Governor of Himachal Pradesh. 
He entered politics in 1961 when 
Nagaland was a disturbed territory. 
Inspired by sublime and sub- 
nationalism he persuaded 
thousands of underground Naga 
rebels to surrender and regroup as 
members of disciplined security 
forces of the country. 

He held several senior positions 
in the Government of Nagaland 
from 1961 to 1969. He was the 
Chief Minister of the State of 
Nagaland from 1969 to 1974. 
During this period he valiantly 
worked for establishment of peace 
in Naga rebel-affected area. This 
task involved even personal 
hazards to him for he was 
ambushed seven times by the 
•underground Nagas. 

At the national level. Mi Soma 
was a member of High Power 
Panel on Minorities, Scheduled 
Castes and Scheduled Ti Ibes 
Besides being a memln i >>! the 

Commission for Scheduled < tastes 

and Scheduled Tribes, 
Government of India, Mi Sema 
also represented the country ill 
international forums OH Vfllioui 

ISBN 0-7069—3313-3 



Socio -Economic and Political 
Transformation and the Future 

Hokishe Sema 



Regd. Office: 5 Ansari Road, New Delhi 110002 

Copyright © Hokishe Sema, 1986 
Third Impression, 1986 

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any 
form without the prior written permission of the publishers. 

Printed at .lugnu Offset, Navin Shahdara, Delhi-1 10032 (India) 


Foreword ix 
Acknowledgements xi 
Preface xiii 


Habitat; Nagas; Origin; Migration; Legends; Seclusion; 
Valour; Ahom Kings; Village Councils; Dialects 


British Imperialism; Skirmishes; Change in British 
Policy; Naga-Manipur Boundary; Annexations; Admi- 


Faith; Animism; Three Major Spirits; House Spirits; 
Field Spirits; Jungle Spirits; Sorcery; Soul; Gennas; 
Festivals; Missionaries; Christianity; Cultural Setback; 
Churches and Religious Institutions; Retention of 
Cultural Heritage 


Historical Process; Tea Plantations; Tea Companies; 
Clash of Interests for Land; Boundary Issue; Govern- 
ment of India's Initiative 




Naga Hills District; Excluded Area; Controlled and Un- 
controlled Areas; Naga Hills: Integral Part of Indian 
Dominion; Naga Club; Attitude of the British; Naga 
National Council; Nehru's Concern for the Tribals; 
Nine-Point Memorandum; Phizo; The Underground; 
Peace Efforts; Statehood for Nagaland; Constitutional 


Formation of State Government; Public Jubilations; 
Reaction of the Underground; Democratic Process; 
Church Convention; Rev. Michael Scott; Negotiation 
with the Underground; Agreement with the Under- 


Peace Talks Across the Table; Reluctance of the 
Underground; Sustained Peace Efforts; Charles Paw- 
sey; Visit by Parliamentary Delegation; Transfer of 
Nagaland Issue from External Affairs to the Home 
Ministry; Disintegration of Peace Mission; Expulsion of 
Rev. Scott; Contributions of Peace Mission 


Nehru's Blessings to Peace Mission; Peace Efforts by 
Indira Gandhi; China Lobby; Kaito's Murder; The 1969 
Elections; B.K. Nehru's Contributions; A House Di- 
vided; The NNO; Plans to Eliminate the Chief Minister; 
Divisions in NNO; Banning the Underground; Christian 
Centenary Celebrations; Dr Graham's visit; Loss of 
Public Confidence 


Nationalism; Sub-Nationalism within Nationalism; Naga 
Sub-Nationalism; A Distinct Indentity; Unity in Diversi- 
ty; Participation in the National Mainstream; Partners in 
the Indian Federalism; Local Self-Governmeht. 

( on tents 



A Democratic Society; Land Belongs to the Chiefs and 
Clans; AWOMI the Priests; Dubashis; Village Councils', 
Working of Democracy; Economic Backwardness; 
Need for a Fresh Look towards Development; Indus- 
tries; Forest Wealth; Need Based Industries; Education; 
Power; Transport; Posts and Telegraph; Need for a 
Planned and a Result-Oriented Administration 

11. LOOKING AHEAD 183-192 

Looking Ahead; Safeguard, Culture and Social Values; 
Economic Transformation; Political Aspirations. 




Most of the people of India are generally very ignorant of 
the peoples and problems of the North-Eastern part of our 
country. The reason for this is partly its geographic isolation, 
but an important cause is that the tribal areas of that region, 
which now embrace three States and two Union Territories, 
were, as a matter of policy, deliberately kept in isolation 
from the rest of India by the British Government. It is high 
time that we got to know these tribal areas and the sterling 
qualities of their magnificent people. 

Mr Hokishe Sema has performed a valuable public 
service by writing this book — the product of much research 
— giving us the social and cultural background of the Naga 
people and tracing their development from the earliest times 
to the present day when, Nagaland as a full-fledged State of 
the Indian Union, stands shoulder to shoulder and on equal 
terms with the rest of the country. Though quite a few books 
have, over the past few years, been written on Nagaland, no 
author has been better placed to give us so all-embracing, 
comprehensive and objective an account of that State. 
Having lived through the recent history of Nagaland and 
being one of its makers he can speak with authority. 

During the many years I was privileged to serve the 
people of Nagaland along with him, when I was Governor 
and he was Chief Minister, I learnt to appreciate his 
unmatched courage — he mentions only one of the many 
ambushes from which he providentially escaped — the 
nobility of his character and his unwavering devotion to 
Indian nationalism which in no whit detracted from his 
loyalty to the interests of his own people. His own 
contribution to bringing his people into the mainstream of 



hood for Nagaland. These lively debates form part of the 

also form a part of the annexures. Mr B.K. Nehru 
Governor of Gujarat and former Governor of Nagaland has 
very gracously contributed a highly inspiring and illumma" 

SSJSt^ these documents have greatIy ™ 

thxs book and 1 am sure it would add to its value and appeal. 

Raj Bhavan 

Hokishe Sema 


Sitting in the lap of serene and tranquil cedar groves of 
Shimla, my mind wanders towards the rough and tumble of 
Naga tribes and sub-tribes who are living in the North- 
Eastern corner of our country. A journey from their 
heterogeneous character, starting from the days of their 
grotesque existence to the present day status of a full-fledged 
State of Nagaland, is saga of innumerable efforts, tribula- 
tions and sacrifices. The craze of the British tea-planters to 
slice-off several pockets of land brought them face to face 
with Nagas, who were living in the deep and impregnable 
woods. In due course of time, the Christian Missionaries 
hoisted the cross over their totems. Christianity was 
embraced by all in preference to their bizarre customs and 
head-hunting. The change in religion was not much 
lamented but for the loss of finer aspects of their culture. 
Thrown into the turmoil of the partitions of the country and 
subsequent transfer of power from Britain to India, some of 
the Nagas preferred to take up arms and went underground. 
Many peace efforts followed and as a result some of them 
laid down their arms while many others are still living the life 
of an adventure. 

Some of the Naga Statesmen, who took up the cause of 
shaping the destiny of Nagaland and in order to bring it into 
the National mainstream and to transform the economy and 
well-being of the people of Nagaland, succeeded in their 

This book is an effort to trace out the origins of Nagas, 
their contact with the British, the Missionaries and the 
political, social and economic transformation of Nagaland 
and the future of Nagas. This book cannot claim to have an 
all-pcrvasive account of all the events that took place, 



though I am certain that some of my friends and colleagues 
who played much more important role in the re-structuring 
and re-construction of Nagaland will venture to write better 
account on their experiences which will be a good guide to 
the future generations. 

I have devoted a chapter on Naga Sub-Nationalism. I feel 
that for some years to come, this question will engage the 
minds of the elite sections of the Naga society as well as the 
leadership of Union of India. I have done it with the sincere 
hope of clearing doubts and misunderstanding that may 
exist today in Nagaland and especially in the minds of 
those, who uphold the principles of regionalism. I have not 
hesitated to point out what seemed to me was right and 
genuine and I trust that the important personalities about 
whom I have mentioned in this book will receive them in a 
friendly spirit and not as a criticism. I am sure, this book will 
be properly understood within its framework by the young 
and old and by the citizens, Statesmen, Administrators, 
thinkers and writers of Nagas and the Nagaland alike. 

Raj Bhavan 

Hokishe Sbma 

We are welcome to our way of living, but why impose it 
on others? This applies equally to national and interna- 
tional fields. In fact, there would be more peace in the 
world if people were to desist from imposing their way 
of living on other people and countries. I am not at all 
sure which is the better way of living, the tribal or our 
own. In some respects I am quite certain theirs is 
better. Therefore, it is grossly presumptuous on our 
part to approach them with an air of superiority, to tell 
them how to behave or what to do and what not to do. 
There is no point in trying to make them a second rate 
copy of ourselves. 

Jawaharlal Nehru 

Chapter 1 



The complex and almost inaccessible mountain tracts on the 
borders of India and Burma are the natural habitat of some 
of the most fascinating tribal people of India. They are the 
Garos, the Khasis, the Mizos, the Kacharis, the Mikirs, and 
the Nagas. In most of these tribes, there are some glimpses 
of their origin and early life. The Garos are a Tibetan race 
while the Khasis are Mongoloids with connections with the 
Thais and the Cambodians. The Mizos derive their identity 
from their neighbours, the Chins of Burma, and the 
Kacharis come from the great Koch race which once ruled 
the plains of North Bengal and Assam. 

"v. . Nagas 

However, wheri we come to the tribes inhabiting the hills 
between Upper Assam and Northern Burma (along the 
Patkai hills both southwest' and northeast) we face a certain 
difficulty regarding their early history. There is an aura of 
mystery and obscurity which surrounds the origin and other 
details of their early life. These tribes, though called the 
'Nagas', evendefy a common nomenclature. This is because 
there are no composite 'Naga' people, and among them there 
are many distinct tribes having more than thirty dialects, 
With almost every tribe constituting a separate language 
oup..-Moreover, their cultural and social setup varies vastly 
from tribe to tribe. Even their physique and appearance 


Emergence of Nagaland 

differ from group to group and place to place. The 
nomenclature, 'Naga', is given to these tribes by the 
outsiders. In fact, for long, this appellation of 'Naga' was 
resented to by these people, till political expediency caused 
it to be accepted as describing the separate identity of these 
people as distinct from other ethnic tribal people and also 
from the people in the country at large. Here it may be 
added that the term 'Naga' was given to these people even 
before they migrated from Burma. Hence, this name does 
not derive from the place-Nagaland- where they live, as is 
the case with some of the states of India. On the other hand, 
their habitation gets the name from their common nomencl- 
ature. The different tribes, which now constitute the Naga 
people, are rigidly distinct from one another. In many cases 
these tribes existed in complete isolation. Their contact with 
one another was restricted to head-hunting and frequent 
warfare. These tribes have their own names, which very 
often give clue to their history. The 'Ao' tribe has the name 
A or. The 'Aor' has its own history. This word has come to 
be ascribed to the present tribe through a particular incident 
associated with this tribe. As the story goes, the population 
of the Chungliyimti village, after a long period of settlement, 
grew so big that some of them had to search for new places 
of settlement. Consequently, many of them crossed the river 
Dikhu after constructing a cane bridge over it. However, 
after a sufficient number had crossed over, and also, with a 
view to prevent large-scale migration, they broke down the 
cane bridge. Those who had crossed the Dikhu river were 
then called Aor, which means 'going' or 'gone'. 

In the same way, the Angamis have their name as 
Tenyimi. The Semas call themselves Sumi. The Lothas are 
named as Kyon. All the other tribes, whether in Burma, 
Arunachal, Manipur, Assam, or Nagaland, have their own 
distinct names. The two important tribes in Manipur are the 
Tangkhuls and the Maos. In Tirap of Arunachal Pradesh, 
they are the Tangsas, Wanchos and the Noctes. In Burma 
there are the Keimungan, Tikhir, Chirr, Mokaware. etc 

/ u7) History and Social Life of the Nagas 3 

Bume oi these tribes have combined together and have taken 
| new name, as in the case of the tribe Zeliang-Rong which 
| the c ombination of Zemi, Liangmai and Rongmai tribes 
hvuui in a compact area. Similarly, Chakhesang is a recent 

position of three tribes, namely Chakru, Kheza and 

\ngtam. Thus we can see that there is quite a rigid 

1 1 >.u I me realisation between the numerous communities 

Inhabiting these hills and to ascribe a common appellation to 
Hi, ., distinctive tribes is in fact a misnomer. 

I Ik oi igin of the word 'Naga' has been a source of much 
dl bate mnong different scholars. The two largely accepted 
I M tints are taken from the etymology of the word 'Naga' 
md its varying connotations in the Burmese and the 
lamese languages. In Burma, the Naga tribes are called 
N.i K;;, which, in Burmese means people or men or folk with 
i»h i. nl ear-lobes. Piercing of the ear-lobes is a widespread 
practice among the Naga tribes. In fact, the piercing 
i • iciiiony forms a very important initiation rite for young 
i loyN who arc about to enter the manhood. When a group of 
boyi attain the age of eight to twelve years, the elders of the 
iM.iHC in consultation with the village priest, fix an 
.I. ipii lous day for the ear-piercing ceremony. A big male pig 
I generally slaughtered by the Village Chief and its meat is 
lil itributed among the young initiates. Then, their ear-lobes 
u< | iic iced with sharp bamboo sticks which have cotton at 

cud. This piercing is done by the warriors of the village. 

Mu . « icmony marks the attainment of manhood by these 
boyi I hey are now fit to wear white cotton in their ears and 

i in the war-dances performed on various festivals in the 

i ll hie of the village. Most of the Naga tribes migrated to 
India from Burma, therefore the name Naka or Naga was 
ii to them even before they reached India. Moreover, it 
■ from the Burmese that the British first came to know 
ilu mi the Nagas soon after their earliest wars with Burma 

i ■>> 1795-1826. 

Another theory of the origin of the word Naga is 
lUbacribed to the Assamese people. The Assamese are the 


Emergence of Nagaland 

immediate neighbours of the Nagas and the Assamese were 
also the first people to come in contact with the Nagas. In 
Assamese, the word Noga means 'naked'. The word Noga, 
which is a part of the Assamese working vocabulary, is even 
used today for the Nagas. Throughout Assamese literature 
we can find the use of this word. In the historical records of 
Assam, called the Baranjis, the word Noga is used for the 
primitive man living in his natural surroundings in an 
uncorrupted form. Thus, originally the word Noga was used 
for the naked people of the hills who often came in contact 
with the people of plains in Assam. Gradually, this name 
was applied to a greater number of people and ultimately it 
became a generic term for many tribes. Now the name Naga 
is accepted by all the tribes and the word Naga is suffixed to 
every name of the tribals inhabiting Nagaland, Assam, 
Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh and Burma. The term Naga 
came to signify the separate identity of these people. 


The places of origin of the various Naga tribes remain an 
unsolved mystery till today. The fact that many of these 
tribes have been wandering races, moving from place to 
place over the span of centuries, has not helped in tracing 
out their origins. Different scholars, basing their surmises on 
the Naga art, material culture, language tonals, etc., have 
theorised that the Nagas have had some links with Indonesia 
and Malaysia; they belong to the Tibeto-Burman family; are 
the first stage migration groups from North-West China; 
they constitute . a return group of migrants from the 
Polynesian islands,; etc. , However, these theories are remote- 
ly inferential theories and in the absence of substantive 
evidence these theories remain inconclusive. 

, , r\ Migration ,. , 

However, there is some information on the migration routes 

/ i/7j History and Social Life of the Nagas 


followed by the Nagas. Based on this information, it is now 
rtairl that the Naga tribes now. living in Nagaland, Assam, 
trunachal Pradesh and Manipur have migrated to these 
I'l.uvs through Burma. Some of them also settled down in 
Burma and did not venture further. These Naga tribes did 
not migrate at the same time but their movement over 

I tin ma and into India was spread over a period of time. It is 
RlOSt likely that they entered their present habitat in waves 
following one another and in some cases in close succession. 
III. above view is substantiated by the present location of 
tribes like the Konyaks, Phoms, Changs, Sangtams, 
Klu inuingans, Yimchungers, and especially that of the 
i Onyaks and the Kheimungans. These tribes are still living 
in |>laces in Burma which are adjacent to Nagaland, Other 

I I il>cs, like the Ao, Lotha, Sema, Rengma, Angami, and the 
Chakhesang came through the South-East via the East and 
i he North of Manipur and then to Khezakenoma. 
Khezakenoma appears to be an important place in the 
migration route of these tribes. All these tribes have 
n ferences to their having emerged from the magic blessed 

tone of Khezakenoma. Perhaps they may even have lived 
lu' rc for many years before moving on. Khezakenoma is a 
I 'niiler village of Chakhesang near Manipur. According to a 
legend, the Aos went first and were followed by the Lothas 
iikI I he Semas. After them came the Rengmas, the Angamis 
i n< I the Chakhesangs. Even the present locations of these 
1 1 Ibes are in that order. 


I [ere it may be interesting to note that the Semas call the 
Aos, Cholimi, which means 'those who preceded', and the 
Angamis are called Tsungumi, which means 'those who 
Came after'. This Sema nomenclature for other tribes 
I "iroborates the order of migration. Further evidence is 
> i liable in the present Sema and Lotha areas where there 
ire stime villages which have got Ao names. The Aos say 


Emergence of Nagalanct 

that these villages were occupied by the Semas and the 
Lothas after they had vacated them in their movement 
northwards. On the other hand, the Semas and the Lothas 
claim that they captured these villages from the Aos and 
thus forced the Aos to move on. Dr J.H. Hutton, in his 
monograph on the Semas mentioned that the last Ao 
village, Longsa, was about to move because of the constant 
Sema attacks but the arrival of the British forces at Wokha 
checked the Sema pressure. 

The Aos maintained that they originated from Longtrok 
and do not refer to having emerged from Khezakenoma. 
The other tribes also say that the Aos were ahead of them 
and do not mention them in connection with Khezakenoma. 
Whether or not the Aos originated from Longtrok, one 
thing is clear that they were the first to settle in this land. It 
also appears that though the Aos migrated through the same 
route followed by the others, yet they did not live in 
Khezakenoma like the others. The Aos must have gone 
ahead and lived at the Chungliyimti village for a consider- 
able time. It is in this village that Longtrok is found like the 
historical stone at Khezakenoma. Longtrok means 'six 

The Semas migrated from Khezakenoma to Swemi and 
Cheswezumi villages in two directions and then to Hebolimi 
and Ighanumi. The Semas called Cheswezumi as Chisho 
village. From Ighanumi and Hebolimi they moved to many 
other places in the Zunheboto district, which constitutes the 
present Sema area. 

The Konyak and the Kheimungan tribes, even today 
inhabit the Naga areas of Burma and India. The legends and 
traditional tales associated with tribes like the Sangtam and 
Yimchunger indicate that they have come from the East. A 
Yimchunger legend tells about the emergence of its people 
from a cave situated in a place called Kamaphu near the 
Waphur village. This place is south of Shamatore, and thus 
is quite near the Burma border. According to the legend, 
they emerged from this cave in large numbers. When a 

l urly History and Social Life of the Nagas 


lUfficient number had come out, and to prevent over- 
population, they closed the cave with a huge stone. This 
Itory probably suggests that they passed through a narrow 
pass. The Yimchungers stayed in Kamaphu for some time 
and later went to the Yimchung village and lived there for a 
considerable period of time. Then it was from this place that 
i hey gradually spread to other places. The Yimchungers 
Claim that the boundary of their area spreads from Mount 
Saramati in the East to Helipong in the West. If this claim of 
Mount Saramati is considered vis-a-vis their migration, then 
il can reasonably be said that they came from the East, that 
is from Burma, since Saramati is on the Indo-Burma border. 
Thus, all considered, it is most likely that the tribes 
mentioned above, as well as some living in the Tuensang 
district, migrated from Burma to their present habitat. 


The stories prevalent among the different tribes about their 
origins, like the story of the Khezakenoma stone of the 
Longtrok, the Changsang of Chang; Mongko of Sangtam; 
the Kamaphu cave of Yimchunger etc are merely legends 
handed down from generations. These are a part of the myth 
and the folklore of the Nagas and certainly cannot be taken 
as factual history. However these myths and legends do give 
a hint of the conditions of isolation and obscurity in which 
these tribes lived. The two sides of the six hundred mile 
International Boundary between India and Burma, where 
the Nagas live, are covered with thick, difficult and virgin 
forests. Many of these places have not seen the light of 
modern development till today. Here, in the parallel hills, 
deep gorges, dense forests and covered valleys, the Naga 
tribes lived in complete obscurity and isolation. Their folk 
tales tell about strange and wild animals like the apes and 
the gorillas, about poisonous weeds and deadly snakes. 
Thus,- all these conditions combined together to make 
-communications and contacts with the outside world virtual- 


Emergence of Nagaland 

ly impossible. It is, therefore, no wonder that the atmos- 
phere in which these tribes lived was surcharged with 
superstitions, myths and legends. Life under such impreg- 
nable conditions also limited the mental horizon of its 
inhabitants. This also accounts for the obscurity and mystery 
which surrounds their early history and the stages of their 
migration. However, from the study of their traditional 
stories and legends, it can be seen that they have migrated 
from far off distances in the East, traversing through rocky 
hills, narrow passes, and dark caves, and finally, moving 
through Burma, they came into India. 


The rigid physical isolation and seclusion in which the 
different Naga tribes lived was not only a result of the 
peculiar circumstances in which these tribes found them- 
selves, but was also self-induced and deliberately chosen. 
The tribes were largely confined to their own villages which 
were perched on the saddles of selected hills, overlooking 
their fields and granaries. To protect the villages from 
unwanted intrusion and encroachment, they were built like 
forts and protected by poisoned spikes. Youth camps, in a 
constant state of preparedness, were always ready to 
respond to any call for the defence of their village. Such a 
jealous protection of their seclusion served to protect their 
identity and mode of life from outside interference and 

Such a staunch and militant desire for a sequestered life 
often led to internecine wars between tribes over their 
claims for paddy fields, water and land. For the protection of 
their distinct entity and for sheer- survival, every tribe had to 
have skilled warriors who were known for their valour. My 
village, Shichimi, was once reputed to be a warrior village. 
There were many warrior names, like Chowokha who 
defended and conquered the attacking enemy, the Chuwo- 
mi, meaning Lothas. Other warrior names among the Semas 

Early History and Social Life of the Nagas 


were Arkha, Hocheli, Sukhalu, Satakha, Tuzukha and 
Yesukha, all indicating that they could check the enemy 
villages, even though these villages also belonged to the 
same tribe. This inter-tribe rivalry was further inflamed due 
to the popular custom of head-hunting. Head-hunting was 
the proud activity of most of the tribes. The more enemy 
heads a man brought to the village, the higher was his social 
status in the village. A village having more of such warriors 
commanded respect and honour. The ritual of head-hunting 
rested on the belief that it contributed to the fertility of their 
womenfolk and the prosperity of their fields. Head-hunting 
was not confined only to one tribe against the other, but was 
carried out even within the same tribe. The Angamis of the 
Western area belonging to Khonoma used to raid the 
Kohima village, another stronghold of the Angamis. 
However, within every tribe, the life of every member was 
considered to be very sacred. 

Ahom Kings 

In the absence of any proper and settled administration in 
the border villages, the principle of 'might is right' ruled 
supreme. At times, the Nagas found it profitable to use their 
fighting skills for the loot and plunder. Generally, while the 
men and the women worked in the fields, a number of 
trained young men kept watch over their territory. Other 
young men received training in the use of spears, daos, bows 
and arrows, which were the main weapons in the Naga 

Thus, there were perpetual and never-ending wars be- 
tween the tribes. Outsiders who tried to intrude into these 
areas also met with stiff resistance. Copious references of 
such clashes are found in the chronicles left by, the Ahom 
kings. These clashes took place from the 12th and the 13th 
centuries to the end of the Ahom rule in the 17th century. 

For centuries the Assam valley had been an easy hunting 
ground for adventurers, cattle graziers, aspiring princes and 


Emergence of Nagaland 

intriguing nobility. There are many instances of rulers being 
killed by treachery. Before the Ahoms invaded Assam, 
complete anarchy prevailed over this area. The Ahoms 
crossed the Patkoi ranges and overran the Manipur valley. 
Here they found the valley inhabited by docile people. 
Therefore they settled there. They stayed there for over four 

During their march to conquest, these alien rulers faced 
stiff resistance from the Naga tribes. The Ahom chronicles 
reveal that their King Sukhafa had to sacrifice a lot to keep 
the Nagas confined to their hilly abodes. However, there is 
no record of any arrangement or situation which was 
derogatory to the honour and prestige of the Nagas. The 
stories handed down by the forefathers to the Naga elders 
relate that whenever any intruder tried to enter the hills, he 
was rudely repulsed. These folktales bear ample testimony 
to the eight centuries of Naga struggle. 

Village Councils 

For a Naga youth, his village was his entire world. Here all 
his life's requirements were met. His schooling was done at 
the Morung (youth club) by his elders. His marriage partner 
was found from the neighbourhood. Later, he was engaged 
in production or in the defence of his village. The choice of 
work was made for him by the village council. This village 
council ordained the entire life of the village. The collective 
life took precedence over the individual life. A Naga's 
obligation and loyalty was to his family and village and this 
required a total submission to the village community. The 
village community looked after the individual needs which 
were common to the entire community and for the satisfac- 
tion of such needs, the entire village was responsible. 

Land was generally owned by clans and not by the 
individuals. Each year the head of the clan decided how to 
allot land to different families for agricultural purposes. In 
the entire system there was no place for any jealousy. 

cany History and Social l/jc w mi. nagas 11 

Mutual recrimination could not sour relationships or create 
bitterness. Friendship and camaraderie were essential for 
life because the fear of an enemy attack always loomed 
large. The history of a village was enshrined in custom and 
tradition through the celebration of feasts in the honour of 
heroes, through heart-warming songs about the valour of the 
brave, and through the fine cloth woven by the women for 
the noble. 

The Naga villages even today are divided into 'khels' 
which are inhabited by a unified and coherent sub-tribe or 
clan. This clan is a distinct family belonging to a common 
ancestor. The houses consist of thatched roofs, forty to fifty 
feet in length, and supported by strong bamboo or wood 
poles about twenty feet in height. The facade is decorated 
with the trophies of war and the animal heads killed by the 
inhabitant. The front poles of the hut cross each other and 
thereby provide holes for the passage of the strong March 
winds. The whole structure, though looking fragile and 
weak, is really solid and strong. It is built to withstand the 
frequent gales and storms which occur in this area. 

The style of a house and its decoration denote the social 
position of the family. The type of construction and the 
fashion of the houses vary from tribe to tribe. Every house 
is divided into two parts. The front room is used for 
accommodating domestic animals like cows, pigs, and 
chicken. The other portion is meant for the family use 
including the kitchen and the bedroom. Guests are always 
welcome in this house. A fire burns here day and night. Split 
bamboo sheets are hung over this fire which are used for 
preserving meat and paddy etc. The smoke provides natural 
preservation to the food article. 

When a child is born in a home, only the close relatives 
are allowed to come in. The naming ceremony is done on the 
sixth day for a male child and on the fifth day for a female 
child. The Nagas dispose of their dead through burial. The 
departed soul is remembered through feasts in its honour. In 
this manner the Nagas solicit the blessings of the spirits of 


Emergence of Nagaland 

the dead. It is believed that these spirits oversee the working 
of their household. 


Today there are about twenty Naga tribes living in Burma, 
Manipur, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, and the Nagaland. 
Each tribe has a separate dialect and often some tribes have 
two to three dialects. For example, the Aos have four 
dialects-Mongsen, Chungli, Changki and Merinokpu. The 
official language is Chungli and textbooks for various classes 
are written in this language. The North-East Hill University 
and the Nagaland Board of Secondary Education have 
accepted Chungli as the mother- tongue of the Aos. The 
Semas, Lothas, Angamis, Changs, etc., have one language 
each. Nagamese, which is a form of broken Assamese, is 
used by the tribes for communicating with each other. These 
days it is also common to find broken Hindi being used in 
Nagaland. The official language of the state of Nagaland is 
English, but it is only used by the educated Nagas. The Naga 
languages are still underdeveloped and cannot be used to 
express modern thought adequately, especially words having 
a scientific origin. 

Chapter 2 


British Imperialism 

The beginning of 19th century initiated the process of 
change and transformation among the Nagas. This crucial 
period of changing circumstances, political alignments and 
social conditions was sweeping over the entire north-eastern 
part of the country. The Ahoms had lost their control over 
the Assam valley, opening the way for the Burmese 
imperialistic tendencies. The Burmese invaders marched 
through the Patkoi range to the Assam valley. Their growing 
boldness alarmed not only the local tribes inhabiting the 
area but also the British who had their own expansionist 
designs. Thus, the people of this area were caught between 
two imperialist forces eager to enlarge their sphere of 
influence. Some tribes, like the Singpho and Khampti 
in Tirap and Lohit, helped the Burmese in establishing 
themselves on the eastern frontier. Others, like the Nocte, 
Wancho and Tangsa Nagas of Tirap assisted the British in 
order to combat the Burmese-Singpho aggression. In the Ao 
and the Konyak areas many Ahoms, including royal and 
noble families, obtained shelter and material help from 

With the signing of the Yandabo Treaty on 24 February 
1826, the war between the British and the Burmese came to 
an end and a new socio-political scene emerged in the area. 
The British also signed a separate treaty of reciprocal 
advantages with Raja Gambhir Singh of Manipur. Now the 
British presence in the area, which had begun with the 
coming in of the missionaries, became more prominent. It 


Emergence of Nagaland 

acquired further impetus due to the fact that the warring 
chieftains often asked for British help in order to humiliate 
their opponents. As the British wanted to strengthen their 
sphere of influence over Assam, NEFA, Cachar and the 
adjoining areas, therefore they undertook an in-depth study 
of the people and the land in this region. They realised that 
for reasons of strategy and security they could not afford to 
ignore the intervening areas, whether populated by barbaro- 
us tribes, wild beasts, dense forests, or arid land. Thus, the 
Nagas were drawn into the British imperialistic designs. 

For some time the British did not try to interfere in the life 
and working of the Naga tribes. They left them to Manipur 
and Cachar for subjugation. The British, on the other hand, 
concentrated on consolidating their position in Upper 
Assam, which they did by 1828. Their headquarters were 
first located at Rangpur and later shifted to Jorhat. The East 
India Company holdings in Upper Assam, particularly their 
tea gardens, were increasingly coming under Naga raids. 
These gardens and villages were easily accessible to the 
Nagas. Most of this land had belonged to the Nagas and now 
they were keen to extract a fee for its use. Further, the 
Manipur and the Cachar Rajas were unable to cope up with 
the Naga ferocity. Therefore, in order to safeguard their 
interest in this area, the British were forced to take an 
increasingly serious note of the activities of the Naga tribes. 
At first they signed a treaty of assistance with Raja Gambhir 
Singh in 1833. This treaty provided that: 

In the event of anything happening on the eastern frontier 
of the British territories, the Raja will when required, 
assist the British Government with a portion of his troops. 

This was accompanied by British attempts to survey the 
Naga hills. This work had started as early as 1832 when the 
first two British explorers, Capt. Jenkins and Capt. Pember- 
ton entered the Naga hills. In fact, the attention of the 
British towards the Nagas was drawn with the sole purpose 

Nagas and the British I 5 

0j protecting their tea gardens. Dr M.C. Cosh speaks very 
eloquently about this: "There would be no need of driving 
tigers, leopards, elephants, etc., from their stronghold; 
msicad, gardens of tea, coffee, oranges and lemons shall 
lake the place of the now impenetrable jungles." Alongwith 
1 ho British interest in the fertile sloping land which was so 
ideally suited for tea cultivation, they were also anxious to 
provide safeguards to their Burmese state. The British also 
wanted to avoid the entry of the Chinese into the trading 
lields of Burma and India. 

Many ingenious arguments were advanced by the British 
for their attempts to annex the Naga territory. One such 
argument is found in the Assam District Gazetteer, when in 
1906, B.C. Allen, an ICS officer wrote: "It should first be 
premised that for the annexation of their territory the Nagas 
are themselves responsible. The cost of the administration of 
the district is out of all proportion to the revenue that is 
obtained, and we only occupied the hills after a bitter 
experience, extending over many years, which clearly 
showed that annexation was the only way of preventing raids 
upon our villages. Had the Angami Nagas consented to 
respect our frontiers, they might have remained as indepen- 
dent as the tribes inhabiting the hills to the south of Sibsagar 
and Lakhimpur, but it was impossible for any civilized 
power to acquiesce in the perpetual harrying of its border 
folk." Allen, very conveniently, ignores the original sin 
when in 1832 the British and Manipur forces entered Naga 
territory without any permission or agreement. 


The first entry into Naga hills by Jenkins and Pemberton in 
1832 was for two reasons. One was to find a suitable 
alternative route between Assam and Manipur, and the 
second was to try and subjugate the powerful Angami 
warriors. Accompanied by Raja Gambhir Singh, they set off 
from Silchar with a Manipuri levy and a strong posse of 


Emergence of Nagaland 

armed soldiers and traversed the Zeliangrong hills. All along 
the route the Nagas created a lot of trouble for them. 
Khuzema, Viswema and Kohima harried the expedition and 
turned them away. The party had to face heavy resistance 
near Punglwa during their return. In retaliation to the Naga 
resistance, the Manipuris committed atrocities upon the 
southern Angami villages. This was one of the factors 
responsible for the intense Manipur-Angami feuds which 
continued till the formation of the Naga Hills District in 
1866. However, the Jenkins and Pemberton exploration was 
a very bold bid across an inhospitable and difficult mountain 
terrain full of constant harassment from the war-like Nagas. 
This expedition, which was accompanied by an escort of 700 
Manipuri sepoys, moved via Popolongmai and Samaguting 
to Mohandijua on the Jamuna river. It was with great 
difficulty and show of force that they could complete their 

The following year, that is in 1833, Gambhir Singh, 
accompanied by Lieutenant Gordon, marched through the 
hills by a little different route than the one followed by their 
two predecessors a year ago. The Nagas were strongly 
resentful of the intrusion into their territory by the British 
and the Manipur convoys. Therefore they constantly attack- 
ed such convoys. Around this time the Nagas were also 
constantly raiding the villages in North Cachar. The British 
called upon the Raja of Manipur and Tula Ram Senapati to 
keep the Nagas under proper control. However, they were 
unable to do so and this requisition was withdrawn in 1837. 
Various efforts by the British to win over the Nagas through 
friendship offers, threats, blockades, and destruction, failed 
to subjugate them. The fact that the Nagas constituted 
numerous tribes, did not have a unified administration or a 
single language or a common land-mass, prevented them 
from being reduced to a state of vasalage. If the Angamis 
suffered, the Lothas, Aos, Sangtams, could escape: There 
was no centralised kingship or government whose fall or 
surrender could force the Nagas to capitulate. Every village 

Nagas and the British 


had to be subdued if supremacy was to be established and 
every tribe had to be fought if loyalty was to be won. The 
lack of unity and the absence of a single political system 
amongst the Nagas at that time proved to be advantageous 
in maintaining their independence. 

In January 1839, E.R. Grange, Sub-Assistant to the 
Commissioner of Nowgong, was deputed to go into the 
Angami country. He was to investigate the causes of the 
frequent raids by the Angamis into Cachar and also to 
punish the Chiefs of the Nagas who carried out such raids. 
Because of a woeful lack of adequate transport arrange- 
ments, his expedition was not very successful. Grange and 
his men hurriedly marched through a small part of the Naga 
hills. Twelve months later, Grange led another expedition 
into the hills. He marched via Samaguting and Khonoma 
into Tokquama village and from there onwards onto 
Manipur. There great deal of opposition to his march. 
Grange succeeded in overcoming this opposition with the 
help of vigorous and often cautious actions. During the 
course of his operations, he burnt down five villages which 
opposed him and he also took eleven prisoners. These 
strong measures seemed to have had a salutary effect as 
there were no Naga raids during 1840. 

The next British visitor into the Naga hills was E.R. 
Grange's successor, Lieutenant Bigge. Between November 
1840 and January 1842 he conducted two expeditions into 
Naga territory. His expeditions met with more success than 
those of his predecessors. He received friendly treatment 
from the hill people and even the Angamis welcomed him 
cordially. During the second excursion Bigge arrived at an 
agreement with them. According to this agreement a 
boundary line was laid down between Manipur and the 
Angami Naga territory and an exchange of friendly visits 
was promised. Thus Bigge sought to bring about peace and 
understanding, and consequently for some time things were 
quite peaceful. 

Circumstances however changed in 1843. No British 


Emergence of Nagaland 

officer entered the hills but the Nagas raided the plains and 
killed four persons. The following year the Nagas marched 
into the Rengma hills and killed nine people. They also 
murdered three Shan sepoys in the North Cachar hills. In 
order to take punitive measures against this outrage, the 
British sent Optain Eld with a strong contingent of men into 
the hills. Captain Eld entered the hills in December 1844 
and burnt several villages which were held guilty of the 
outrage. This included a large part of the powerful village 

The following year Captain Butler, who had succeeded 
Captain Eld as Principal Assistant Commissioner at Now- 
gong, made a peaceful trip through the hills. Wherever he 
went he met with a friendly reception and received many 
gifts and presents. However, this friendly interchange did 
not stop the Naga raids on the plains. In 1846-47 another 
expedition was sent into the hills in order to see whether the 
establishment of an outpost amongst the Naga villages might 
serve as a deterrent to the Naga raids on the villages in the 
plains. Samaguting was selected as the right place for setting 
■up of this outpost. A detachment of the Militia was 
permanently stationed there and the Post was entrusted to 
the charge of Bhogchand Daroga, a resolute and determined 
man. Earlier he had attracted the attention of the British by 
the courageous way he had extricated his small sepoy force 
when attacked by a vastly superior Naga force. This success 
had emboldened Bhogchand and made him unmindful of his 
personal safety as well as a little rash and indiscreet. He 
wanted to press his gains too fast and too far. 

In 1849 Bhogchand visited Mezoma to enquire into a 
dispute which was in progress between Nihulie and Zievilie, 
two powerful men in that village. Bhogchand was accompa- 
nied by a very small, arid far from reliable, force. However, 
as Sir Alexander Mackenzie says, he had firm belief in the 
prestige of the British constable. Bhogchand conducted the 
proceedings just as he would have done in the case of a not 
i the plains. One of Zievilie's followers had been murdered 

Hagas and the British 


by Nihulie's men, and Bhogchand proceeded to. arrest the 
l ulprits. Then, in a spirit of severe impartiality, he also 
seized seven Kacharies who belonged to Zievilie's party. 
Bhogchand then left with his prisoners for Samaguting. 
( londuct of this kind was not calculated to please either side 
.iiul the result was something which Bhogchand had not 
Intended or anticipated. The feud between the two parties 
Came to an end and they combined together to attack their 
common enemy, Bhogchand. When they attacked him at 
Pephema his guards dispersed in panic. Bhogchand and 
thirteen of his sepoys and porters were speared to death. 

This outrage greatly incensed the British. In a frenzy for 
FCVenge, an expedition was despatched under Lieutenant 
Vincent to take retaliatory measures for the Daroga's death. 
His troops occupied Mezoma and Nihulie and his clan 
retired further into the hills. Meanwhile, when Lieutenant 
I 'ampbell, who was incharge of the detachment, was visiting 
I neighbouring village, the enemy burnt down Mezoma and 
destroyed the British stores. The expedition was called off. 
In March 1850 Lieutenant Vincent re-entered the hills and 
look up his quarters at Mezoma. He remained there through 
the rains. Among the action that he took was the burning of 
flu village of Jakhama and the establishment of an outpost 
Ol forty-six men at Khonoma. However, when two sepoys 
Were killed close by the stockade, Vincent decided to 
Concentrate all his force at Mezoma after burning down a 
portion of the Khonoma village. Things however were not 
Very easy for Vincent and his men. The constant harassment 
ol the British by the Khonoma youth frightened the British. 
Vincent was forced to give orders prohibiting sepoys from 
leaving stockade, even for drawing water, except in parties 
"I twenty men, under a non-commissioned officer, with at 
leasl ten muskets. 

The precarious position of Lieutenant Vincent necessi- 
tated the sending in of yet another expedition. In December 
1850 the tenth expedition was sent into the hills. This 
I Kpedition comprised a detachment of 384 men equipped 


Emergence of Nagaland 

with all kinds of arras and having with them two three- 
pounder guns and two four-inch mortars. This force was 
despatched against the fort at Khonoma. The fort however 
was very strongly fortified and defended. Even though the 
guns were brought within seventy-five yards of the fort, they 
did not do any appreciable damage. The attempt to escalade 
the walls of the ort was foiled by the presence of a deep 
trench around the walls. Finally the force bivouacked before 
the village for the night. The next morning, however, they 
found that the village had been abandoned. 

The troops then went on an exercise of demonstration 
through the hills. They burnt down several villages which 
opposed their progress or refused to give them supplies. 
When this force reached the village Kekrima, they found 
that the villagers refused to give in so meekly to them. 
Kekrima was said to contain 1,000 houses and was therefore 
very much feared. Kekrima sent two heralds to the British 
camp and solemnly challenged them to a trial of strength. 
The Manipuris, the heralds said, were afraid to meet them 
and they doubted whether the British were of a different 
temper. This challenge to the force as well as the slowly 
developing prestige of the British could not be ignored by 
the British. Moreover the British weapons were much 
superior to the arms of just spears and arrows that the 
villagers had. Thu 5 , the British force of 150 sepoys armed 
with sophisticated fire-arms supported by about 800 Nagas 
armed with spears defeated Kekrima. The result of this 
unequal fight between modern weapons of destruction and 
poor arrows of defence was a foregone conclusion. The 
downfall and destruction of the Nagas was complete. 
Kekrima left at least 100 warriors dead on the hill side, while 
the British suffered a loss of just three dead, one of whom 
was a camp follower. 

Change in British Policy 
This sacrifice by the Kekrima Nagas did not go in vain. The 

Nagas and the British 


British withdrew their troops from the hills and determined 
that in future they would abstain from all interference with 
the Nagas. The policy, as laid down by Lord Dalhousie, the 
then Governor-General, was: "Hereafter we should confine 
ourselves to our own ground; protect it as it can and must be 
protected; not meddle in the feuds or fights of these savages; 
encourage trade with them, as long as they are peaceful 
towards us; and rigidly exclude them from all communica- 
tion, either to sell what they have got, or to buy what they 
want, if they should become turbulent or troublesome." 

It was, however, one thing to say that there should be no 
dealings with the Nagas and another to prevent the Nagas 
from having any dealings with the neighbouring people. The 
protection of the long line of jungle-covered frontier proved 
to be impossible. In 1851, after the policy of non- 
intervention had been definitely adopted, no less than 22 
Naga raids took place. In these raids 35 persons were killed, 
10 wounded, and 133 taken captive. While only three of 
these raids can be positively traced to the Angamis, yet there 
are strong grounds for suspecting them for most or all of 
these depredations. Thus, while the policy of non- 
intervention was given a fair trial, it was impossible to resist 
I lie conclusion that it had proved unsuccessful. The local 
officers repeatedly urged the Government to take a more 
vigorous and strict line of action. In 1862 the Commissioner 
Of Assam brought up the matter before the Lieutenant- 
( iovernor. He said that it was not creditable for the 
( lovernment to be powerless in the face of Naga atrocities, 
10 protect its subjects and punish the aggressors. The 
< 'ommissioner, with typical administrative politeness, said 
that while the non-interference policy was excellent in 
theory yet the Government should think about giving it up in 
view of the practical implications. It is quite clear that 
Ibitish relations with the Nagas could not have been on a 
worse footing. 

The views of the Commissioner did not fall on deaf ears. 
Sn Cecil Beadon, the then Lieutenant-Governor of Bengal, 


Emergence of Nagaland 

agreed with the views expressed by the Commissioner. He 
directed the officer stationed at Nowgong to get an 
immediate communication with the Nagas and to inform the 
Chiefs that the Government held them responsible for the 
good conduct of the villagers and that as long as they 
performed their job well, an annual stipend would be paid to 
them for this police work. 

Again, while in theory it appeared to be a fine proposal, 
yet in practice, these orders appeared to have had little 
effect. More raids by the Nagas in March and April 1866 
again brought the Naga question into prominence. The 
Lieutenant-Governor declined to fall back before 'these 
wild tribes' and to retreat from their neighbourhood 
whenever they happened to be provocative. Officers in 
charge of the North Cachar hills again advocated the policy 
of non-intervention because they despaired of ever being 
able to protect their frontier without pursuing a more 
vigorous policy from which they had been debarred by the 
Government. Sir Cecil Beadon now pointed out the dis- 
advantages of this policy of non-interference. He said that if 
this policy was to be pursued then Assam would be divided 
amongst the Bhutias, Abors, Nagas, Garos, Mishmis, and 
the other wild tribes which surrounded it. Moreover, he said 
that this policy would be construed as a sign of weakness of 
the government and the tribes would take advantage of it. 
Further, this policy also threatened the safety of Manipur 
and opened a possible route for intrusion by Burmese 

In view of this change in the British thinking, Colonel 
Hopkinson, the Commissioner, began a review of the 
existing position of the Nagas with regard to North Cachar in 
1866. His findings and opinions are thus summarised by Sir 
Alexander Meckenzie: 

He was not himself averse from taking a more direct 
control of the country. He. however, pointed out that the 
democratic nature of the tribal arrangements among the 

Nagas and the British 


Angamis, the infinite divisions and disputes existing even 
in a single village, rendered it impossible to hope for 
success from the policy of conciliation, ab-extra, proposed 
by the Government. He admitted that no system of 
frontier military defence that could be devised would 
secure perfect immunity from raids. A country void of 
roads, void of supplies, a country of interminable hills, of 
vast swamps covered with dense forest, save where here 
and there a speck in the ocean of wilderness reveals a 
miserable Mikir or Kachari clearance, could not possibly 
be defended at every point against a foe for whom hill and 
swamp and forest are resources rather than obstacles. 
From 1854 to 1865, there had been nineteen Angami raids 
in which 232 British subjects had been killed, wounded, or 
carried off. Ninety-two of these unfortunates had been so 
lost during the three years (1854-56), when a chain of 
outposts was in existence from Barpathar to Assaloo, 
connected by roads which were regularly patrolled. 'At 
most we should be able to keep the raids of such savages 
below a certain maximum, and prevent their extension to 
settled districts.' The settlement of a trade blockade, the 
Commissioner maintained, was advantageous, when it 
could be made practically complete, and so far as it was 
complete; but none of these schemes would secure the 
peace of the frontier. They had all been tried and found 
wanting. If Government were prepared to consider a 
more advanced policy he was ready to show how it could 
best be carried out. He would depute a specially-qualified 
officer to proceed with a force of not less than 200 men, 
and effect a permanent lodgement in the country, at a 
point most convenient for keeping open communications 
and procuring supplies. This officer would then invite the 
chiefs to submit themselves to us. Those who agreed 
would, as a token of submission, pay an annual tribute, 
and, in return, receive our aid and protection: while 
those who refused would be told that we would leave them 
to themselves, so long as they kept the peace towards us 
and those who submitted themselves to us. 


Emergence of Nagaland 

As a result of all these discussions and observations the 
Government of India sanctioned the establishment of a 
strong post at Samaguting in 1866. This post was placed 
under the command of Lieutenant Gregory. He was allowed 
a police force of 150 hill men who were to be fully armed. 
His principal duty was to protect the plains from the 
intrusions of the Nagas. (This, of course, was a repetition of 
the main cause of British intervention in the hill areas, which 
had been repeated time and again.) While Gregory had been 
ordered not to exert himself to extend his rule into the 
interior of the hills, yet, of necessity, much was left to 
Gregory's discretion. 

Lieutenant Gregory's work began almost immediately as 
in January 1866 the Nagas of Razephema mercilessly 
attacked a Mikir village in North Cachar. In March, 
Lieutenant Gregory visited Razephema and burnt down the 
village. Three months later the hill men retaliated by kill- 
ing twenty-six Mikirs in the village of Sergamcha. During 
the following cold weather Lieutenant Gregory visited 
Razephema, burnt down the village, prohibited the people 
from reoccupying their old lands and fields, and distributed 
the land amongst the other communities. 

Naga-Manipur Boundary 

Thus, the establishment of an officer in the Naga hills and 
his stern action had for some time, brought about a cessation 
of the Naga raids on the British territory. However, trouble 
now arose in another direction. It came from the side of 
Manipur. The hilly areas over which this state had territorial 
jurisdiction was vague and ill-defined. This often resulted in 
a confrontation with the neighbouring large and powerful 
villages. In'order to solve this problem, in 1872 the boundary 
line between Manipur and the Naga Hills was clearly laid 
down. At all essential points, and wherever it could be 
identified, the boundary line of 1872 was retained. The few 
villages which fell on the dividing line and over which 

Nagas and the British 


Manipur had acquired control, were given to this state. 
Further, from the Telizo Peak, which marked the termina- 
tion of 1872 line, to the watershed of the main line of hills 
which divide the affluents of the Brahmaputra from those of 
the Irrawaddy, as far as the Patkai Pass, was declared to be 
the limits of the Manipur State on its Northern frontier. The 
Naga Hills district was advanced to match with the boundary 
of Manipur thus determined. 

In 1869 Captain Gregory was succeeded by Captain 
Butler. Captain Butler was by character and disposition 
admirably qualified to hold this position. He proceeded 
gradually to extend control over the hill tribes. He sent 
survey parties, properly escorted, into the hills. When in 
January 1875 a coolie was murdered in Wokha after a camp 
was attacked, Captain Butler's retribution was sharp and 
sudden. Meanwhile, in February, some trans-Dikho Nagas 
attacked and killed Lieutenant Holcombe and eighty of his 
men. Captain Butler was relieved from his present charge 
and ordered to proceed to avenge the death of Lieutenant 
Holcombe. This brought an end of Bulter's operations in 
this area. However, the annexation programme had begun. 
It had been started in 1874 by Captain Johnstone who was 
then officiating for Captain Butler. He took three villages 
under his complete and definite control and protection. In 
token of their submission, they were made to agree to pay a 
certain amount of revenue to the Government. This 
example was to be followed by others and the process of 
annexation began to grow slowly. In the winter of 1875 
survey operations were once again taken in hand. There was 
a slight delay when in December of the same year Captain 
Butler received a fatal wound in an ambush at Pangti, near 
Wokha. Lieutenant Woodthorpe, who took over Butler's 
position, promptly burnt down Pangti. The neighbouring 
villages were friendly and the survey work could continue 
once again. 

The state of perpetual warfare which prevailed among the 
Naga tribes and the continued Angami aggression by the 


Emergence of Nagaland 

men of Khonoma and Mezoma in particular, attracted the 
attention of the government. Within two years six villages 
had been plundered and 384 persons were killed, chiefly. by 
Khonoma and Mezoma. The government wanted to take 
some measures to stop such outrages. While the matter was 
under consideration by government, the Mezoma once again 
raided the village of Gumaigaju near Asalu in the North 
Cachar Hills and killed six British subjects. 


In December 1877, Political Officer, Carnegy, accompanied 
by a force of 246 sepoys and police, captured Mezoma and 
burnt down the village. The Nagas, however, continued to 
occupy the surrounding hills from where they continued 
their harassment of the British troops. During the course of 
these operations, Carnegy was accidentally shot by his own 
sentry. The submission of Mezoma was finally obtained by 
Captain Williamson, the Inspector-General of Police. In 
order to strengthen the annexation process, in 1877 the 
Secretary of State gave his consent to the proposal that the 
headquarters should be moved into the interior of the hills. 
He also agreed to strengthen the district staff so that the 
management of the tribes could become more efficient. In 
November 1878 Kohima was occupied by the British 
without any opposition. By this time sixteen Naga villages 
had tendered their submission before the British authorities. 

During the winter season of 1878 the tribes largely 
remained quiet and docile. This was seen by the British as a 
sign of encouragement. But by June 1879 there were signs 
that trouble was brewing in the powerful village of 
Khonoma, which dominates Kohima geographically. In 
order to quell the trouble, the British levied a fine on the 
villagers. In July the fine was duly paid by the villagers and 
the clouds of trouble appeared to have passed away* During 
the following cold weather, Damant, the Political Officer of 
the Naga Hills proposed to make a tour of the Ao country. 

Nilgus unci the British 


He lore starting, he decided to visit Khonoma and on 
( )ctober 13 be set out with an escort of 21 sepoys and 65 
policemen. Damant was warned that it was not safe for him 
to go there. It is said that a Jotsoma interpreter not only 
Informed him of the village's hostility but also, repeatedly, 
fell on his knees before Damant in order to dissuade him 
from going there. Damant did not heed this warning as he 
believed that there was no danger. Taking only half his 
escort with him, Damant went up the steep pathway leading 
m the village. He found the gate to be closed. As he stood 
i here, he was shot dead. A volley was poured out on to his 
escort, which broke formation and ran down the hill. The 
Nagas then streamed down the hill-side and completely 
routed Damant's troops, killing 35 and wounding 19. 

This news reached Kohima the same day and the small 
detachment stationed at Wokha was called in. On 21 
I Ictober 1879, this detachment besieged Khonoma. Th siege 
continued for six days when Colonel Johnstone marched in 
With his garrison consisting of a strong force of Mampuns 
and took over Khonoma without any opposition. 

Within a short space of five years three British officers had 
been killed by the hill men. The British authorities now felt 
that it was time that the Nagas were 'taught a lesson'. In 
order to do this a strong force was prepared which consisted 
0l the 44th Sylhet Light Infantry (the present 8th Gurkha 
Rifles), a detachment of the 43rd Assam Light Infantry (the 
present 7th Gurkha Rifles), and two mountain guns. This 
force attacked Khonoma on 22 November 1879. During the 
assault, two British officers, Major Cock, the DAAG, and 
I untenant Forbes were killed. The Subedar Major of the 
(4th Native Infantry was also killed, along with 44 men of 
Other ranks who were either killed or wounded. Among the 
wounded were two British and two 'Native' officers. During 
the night Nagas abandoned the village and retreated to a 
itrongly fortified position on the crest of the Barail range 
where there were many other villages. The British decided 
to reduce their number through a blockade. 


Emergence of Nagaland 

As a result of the position of the Khonoma Nagas, the 
British had to face the hostility of thirteen villages before 
being able to reach Khonoma. Of these hostile villages, 
Piphima, Merema, Sechuma, Chiepama and Pfuchama were 
attacked and destroyed. Lieutenant Maxwell was severely 
wounded before Chiepama. The troops went about the hills 
'punishing' the villages that had opposed them. The men of 
Khonoma, however, continued to hold out against the 
British troops. 

Towards the end of January 1880, a party of fifty-five men 
of the unconquered Khonoma with only seven firearms 
among them, started from Popolongmai and marched down 
the bed of the Barak river through Manipur territory. 
Crossing by a disused road into British territory, they 
surprised the Baladhan Tea garden in Cachar at night, killed 
the manager, Mr Blyth, and sixteen coolies, plundered what 
they could and burnt everything in the place. They then 
marched back unmolested by the same route. The distance is 
full 80 miles, as the crow flies, from Khonoma. 

The Khonoma men finally capitulated in March 1880. 
They were again ordered to vacate their village, and their 
terraced fields were to be confiscated for distribution 
amongst others. This order was later on withdrawn as it was 
impossible to induce the Khonoma men to take up habita- 
tion elsewhere. Moreover, no other Nagas dared to occupy 
the confiscated Khonoma fields because they feared the 
terrible reprisals from the Khonoma men. The Khonoma 
villagers were assessed for revenue. At first the revenue was 
fixed at the rate of one rupee and one maund of rice per 
house. Later on this was changed to two rupees per house, 
which was the rate prevalent among the other tribes at that 

The dual process of pacification as well as annexation of 
the Naga tribes and their villages by the British steadily 
continued. The British authorities, at times, had to resort to 
punitive expeditions. It was felt by the British that this was 
the only way to teach the Nagas to respect the lives and 

Nagas and the British 


property of those who had submitted to the British and were 
therefore considered to be British subjects. These expedi- 
tions however passed off without any serious incident 
because the Nagas did not offer any real opposition to them. 
Thus there was no repetition of the painful incidents of the 

In May 1883 the calm was again disturbed when the Semas 
of Rotomi murdered two Lothas who were British subjects. 
To make matters worse, they refused to obey the order of 
the Deputy Commissioner directing them to come in and 
answer to the charge of murder. This affront to the British 
authority could not be allowed to go unchallenged. Accor- 
dingly, a strong force, led by McCabe, marched against the 
village. The villagers did not allow the troops to advance 
without a challenge. Accordingly, it was found necessary to 
open fire and some 50 or 60 of the enemy were killed. This 
punishment of the Rotomi Nagas again had the desired 
effect. Peace was restored and the two other villages that 
had committed murders paid up the fines imposed on them, 
without demur. Encouraged by this success, McCabe made a 
promenade through the Ao country in 1885 and was met 
with no serious opposition. Hence, in 1889 this territory was 
also incorporated within the boundaries of the district. 

Four villages across the river Dikho-Yajim, Jesu, Nok- 
sen, and Litem-continued to raid the western or the British 
side of the Dikho. In order to put an end to this, in April 
1888, McCabe crossed the Dikho and burnt down the four 
villages. The villagers did offer some token resistance but 
the British troops were able to brush this aside without much 

These four villages belonged to the Tuensang tribe of the 
Nagas. They were not the kind of men to be cowed down by 
such a punishment. Consequently they looked for opportu- 
nities to attempt reprisals for the punishment meted out to 
them. For some time they were unable to offer any effective 
opposition to the British Indian troops. In June 1888 they 
found a suitable opportunity and they suddenly attacked the 


Emergence of Nagaianu 

two Ao villages of Mongsemdi and Lungkung. In this attack 
they killed 148 people in the former village and 40 in the 
latter. In order to prevent any repetition of such an outrage 
the British decided to take immediate steps. A guard of 50 
men was posted in a strong stockade at Mongsemdi. The 
Tuensang Nagas, in a show of resentment, attacked this 
stockade, shortly after its establishment at night, but they 
were beaten back without any difficulty. 

In January 1889 the Deputy Commissioner, with a force of 
200 men went across the Dikho river in order to punish the 
offenders. The Nagas felt that the troops were too strong to 
be opposed. So they retreated without offering any resist- 
ance. In order to check the advance of the Deputy 
Commissioner and his troops, they burnt five of their 
villages. In this expedition a total of ten villages, including 
Tuensang, were destroyed. A considerable quantity of grain 
was also destroyed. However, only five or six of the enemy, 
were killed and the Deputy Commissioner failed to recover 
any of the captives who were reported to have been carried 
off from the Ao villages. 

The Deputy Commissioner returned from Tuensang but 
was forced to cross the Dikho river once again. This time he 
had to go across to punish Tangsa and two khels of Yongnya 
who had murdered those Nagas who were, for all intents and 
purposes, the subjects of the Crown. Once again the trip of 
the Deputy Commissioner met with little success. He could 
not procure the surrender of the actual murderers and had to 
return after burning down the houses of the guilty communi - 

In 1892 the episode of the Yongphang village clearly 
revealed the thinking of the primitive tribals who were 
prone to thinking that any leninency was a sure sign of 
weakness. An Ao Naga had crossed the Dikho river and 
entered into the Sangtam village on a trading mission. A 
native of this village killed the Ao and then fled to 
Yongphang. The Deputy Commissioner proceeded to Yong- 
phang and demanded the surrender of the murderer. The 

ffagas and the British 


villagers were unable to comply with this order as the man 
had fled from there too and they did not know his 
whereabouts. The Deputy Commissioner then burnt the 
nurderer's house and ordered the Yongphang people not to 
lelp the man in future. As the villagers were in no way a 
Kit ty to the murder therefore the Deputy Commissioner did 
not inflict any punishment on them. The Yongphang Nagas 
misunderstood the motives of the Deputy Commissioner. 
They ascribed his leniency to the view that he was afraid of 
them. This emboldened them and they attacked the villagers 
who had furnished the Deputy Commissioner's party with 
supplies for this expedition. The Deputy Commissioner was, 
therefore, forced to return to Yongphang. At first the 
Vongpbang Nagas resisted his advance. When they found 
this to be difficult then they evacuated their village. When 
the Deputy Commissioner found that the offender refused 
to come in and surrender or pay a fine, there was nothing for 
him to do but to set fire to their houses. 

Shortly after this incident the Yongphang (PHOM) Nagas 
tendered their submission. This instance was another exam- 
pic for the British administrators of the salutary effect on the 
Naga mind of the stern punishment of burning of their 
Villages and homes. The burning of villages and killing of 
innocent people afforded a very sad consolation to the 
I teputy Commissioner for the fact that such events inevitably 
i csulted in the establishment of good relations. This was a 
demonstration of the strange Christian spirit. Further he 
Said that after they had been burnt out, the villagers seemed 
to consider that they had become the children of the 
M.iharani, the Queen. 

The events of 1892 appeared to have a strong effect on the 
Naga mind. Consequently, it was seen that only one regular 
punitive expedition was required after this. However, the 
I )eputy Commissioner, during his tours was generally 
accompanied by a guard who would punish the villages 
Which declined to surrender those persons who were guilty 
Ol murder. 


Emergence of Nagaland 

In November 1903, trouble again arose when the Pilashi 
Khel of Tuensang killed two Aos who had come across the 
Dhiko for the purposes of trade. The following month the 
Chongphu Khel carried off three mithuns from British 
territory. The British could ill afford to ignore these 
incidents. In January 1905, the Deputy Commissioner pro- 
ceeded to this village to punish the guilty. When the 
villagers saw the force of a 100 men of the military police 
approaching, they abandoned their homes, but not before 
killing two of the transport coolies who were struggling 
behind. As a punishment, the British Deputy Commissioner 
burnt down the village and killed a number of pigs and 


The country occupied by the Aos had been formed into the 
sub-division of Mokokchung in 1890. Now in 1903 the area 
which was known as the Political Control (and was a part of 
the present Tuensang district) was incorporated into the 
Naga Hills District. In 1901 this district covered an area of 
3070 sq miles. The area covered by the Kohima Sub- 
division was 2,837 square miles and had a population density 
of 29 to the square mile. In Mokokchung, the area covered 
was 738 square miles with a population density of 46. The 
major Naga tribes inhabiting this district at the close of the 
nineteenth century were the Angamis (27,506), the Aos 
(26,753), the Kachcha Nagas (6,559), the Lothas (19,257), 
the Rengmas (4,170), and the Semas (24,666). Tribes like 
the Sangtams, Konyaks, the Changs, were still living in the 
unadministered area. This area later on came to form a part 
of Nagaland in the Tuensang district. 

Till 1901 the majority of the Nagas were still faithful to the 
reh son of their forefathers. Around 96 per cent of the 
population was described as animistic. In 1899 there were 
only 211 Christians in the district, while in 1901 their number 
rose to 579, most of whom were Baptists. Out of a total 

Nagas and the British 


population of over one hundred thousand, only 363 were 
literate in any language. There was only one middle school 
in which only seven pupils were studying. The entire district 
had three dispensaries and the administration of the District 
COSt the British only Rs 4,686, excluding the salaries of 
lenior officers. 


Chapter 3 



Forms of belief and evolution in the tenets of faith of a 
people play an important role in the history, growth and 
development of these people. By examining the changes in 
the belief patterns of a people one can perhaps gain such 
insights into the working of the historical processes of a 
people which may not be available through other means^ 
Similarly, if we look into the early history of the Nagas and 
pay our attention to the traditional beliefs and forms of 
worship of these people, and how these have changed over 
the different stretches of time, we can catch an illuminating 
glimpse into the evolving psyche of these people^ Religion, 
whether in its earliest form of animism or ^ the modern 
form of Christianity, has played a vital role in the history Ot 
the Naga people. Thus, any view of the Nagas, whether 
historical or sociological, cannot be complete without an 
effort at tracing out the changing religious patterns of these 


The genesis of the practice of religion, when traced to its 
roots in primitive tribes and societies is often found to re t in 
some form or manner of 'animism'. The earliest Naga tribes 
also expressed their awe towards the supernatural being and 
their fascination for solving the mystery of existence , through 
animism. It was through animism that they expressed ^their 
basic patterns of beliefs affecting individual and collective 

honi Animism to Christianity 


tv haviour. In its broadest sense, animism implies the 
ll 1 1 1 1 mi ion of a living soul to inanimate objects and to 
11 Itural phenomenon, as well as the belief in the existence of 
ml or spirit as distinct and apart from inert matter. It is 
Interesting to note that the word 'animism' comes from the 
Word 'anima' which in its original connotation meant 
hrenth', 'life force' or 'soul'. Thus in formal definitions, 
inlmism is spoken of as the belief in the phenomenon of 
Ihlmal life as produced by an 'immaterial' anima. Sir 
i ilward B. Taylor, in his book Primitive Culture, contends 
llllll animism is the origin of religion and the beliefs of 
primitive people. Anthropologically, he was the first to use 
ihl term for beliefs, based on the universal human 
perience of dreams and visions, in 'spiritual beings', 
'uprising of souls of individual creatures and other spirits. 
I he patterns of belief, or religion, of the early Nagas show 
ill liliitc signs of being animistic in nature. As an animist, the 
III) Naga was an adherent to a belief in the existence of 
mmiI or spirit in matter. He recognised the presence of an 
• ■ < n higher power which exercised control over man's 
liny and was entitled to obedience, reverence, and 
t)| ihip. The beliefs of these Naga tribes were expressed 
through their worship of Nature and natural phenomenon 
Hid through their faith in the power of magic and of omens. 

Three Major Spirits 

l lli early Naga tribes believed in three distinct classes of 
Pit its Within these three broad distinctions, which covered 
llle iiitire existence of the people, there were also certain 
llh divisions and sub-classifications. The first category was 
llti' ( Yeator who was concerned with the process of creation; 
Hie second were the spirits of the sky, the angels and the 
llllnl I'ormed the group of spirits who lived among men and 
ii ot the earth. These spirits were beneficent as well as 
ili I ii cut. Different spirits were propitiated through diffe- 
luals. There were ceremonies concerning different 


Emergence of Nagaland 

areas like fertility, protection, good fortune, healing, 
wealth, social status, etc. 

The first category, was the creator. This Creator had diff- 
erent m mes in different tribes: the Sema called it Alhou, the 
Ao referred to it as Lijaba, the Lotha called it Potso, and so on. 
The existence of all creation was ascribed to the work of the 
Creator. However, the Creator has a number of manifesta- 
tions depending upon the particular creation in 
question. For example, when the point is of the creation of 
the Sun, the Creator is called Khetsunhe Lhou by the Semas 
(meaning sun-god); in connection with the moon the 
manifestation is called Aqhilhou (meaning moon-god); in 
creating the earth, the Creator is called Ayeghighalhou. On 
creating man he is called Timilhou, meaning, the creator of 
man. All these different names, are different attributes of 
the same Creator. This Creator is supreme and beneficent to 
mankind. It is not earthly in the sense that it does not 
interfere in the day-to-day activities of man but at the same 
time oversees the cumulative activity of mankind at large. 
This spirit is all-wise and all-blessing and for the Naga tribes 
represents the manifestation of the unseen divine power 
behind creation, activation, and the final destiny of man- 

The second category of spirits are the spirits of the sky 
called Kungumi in Sema. These spirits are both male and 
female The male spirit is called Kungumi and the female 
spirit is called Kungulimi. These spirits of the sky dwell high 
up in the sky but they often come down to the earth and 
marry the sons and daughters of man. There are stones 
about Kungumi and Kungulimi coming down and mixing 
with good and righteous boys and, girls specially on misty 
days and nights. They perform kind deeds for man even 
though they live high up in the sky. The Lotha tribe believe 
that these spirits have built storey upon storey, ascending up 
to the highest point in the sky. They have different attributes 
and functions. They work as attendants as well as ambassa- 
dors to the great Creator. 

In 'in Animism to Christianity 


I In- ihird group of spirits which live on the earth, in the 
|ungles, in the lakes, among men and in their houses, 
•en, are the spirits of the earth. The Sema call these 

I'M lis liighami, the Ao call them Mojing, and the Lotha call 
(hem Ngaza. These spirits are generally maleficent and 
ill in evil towards man but they can be propitiated through 

li Mines. The Sema word 'tughami' means 'wildmen', and 
they are so called because the atmosphere of wilderness 

'in .u is them and they like to live in such an atmosphere of 

i M i ■ i n ess . These groups of spirits are further classified accor- 
ilinn to the specific place of their abode. Those which live in 
l scs are called the 'house-spirit', or in Sema, Akighau. The 

I ii lis of the field are called Alughau by the Semas. The third 
type is the spirit of man and the last kind are the spirits of the 
i' 1 1 ests or the spirits of the wild, which are called Muzamuza 
l'\ i In' Semas which literally means Echo. 

House Spirits 

I In Akighau, or the house-spirits, are generally found in big 
Hid i ii h men's houses or in empty houses which have been 

i nled by their owners after some tragedy in the family. 

H" v have the appearance of a monkey or an ape, but they 
lIlKiippear quietly every time. They can be heard making 
llol ' all over the house as they move about touching 
ill 1 1 1* re n t household articles . I can recollect several occasions 

• hrn I lie people of my village talked of the house-spirits of 

Hiandfather. Many of these people were afraid to go to 
grandfather's house all alone as they had seen these 
House spi rits. I remember hearing my grandmother talking 
111 these spirits as if she were carrying on a conversation with 

ii human being. My grand-parents were always concerned 
Nhoiit keeping these spirits in good humour and for this 
(impose they threw rice-beer and pieces of meat and rice 

ul the 'king pillar' of the hosue everyday. Every genna 

til least, whether big or small, would begin with the 
|i|M|>iliation of the house-spirits by my grand-parents by 


Emergence of Nagaland 

throwing rice, meat and rice-beer around the king pillar of 
the house and inviting the house-spirits to partake of the 
bountiful food provided for their happiness. Displeasure of 
these spirits could result in harm to the householders in 
many ways. However, if these spirits were kept suitably 
happy and satisfied then while being helpful and benevolent 
to the owner they were also malevolent to his enemies. 

A story is told about a man who went to his friend's house 
in his absence and as he felt thirsty, he dipped his hands for 
drink in the liquor vat. His friend's house-spirit, though 
invisible, caught his hands by the wrists and held him till the 
owner of the house returned in the evening and released 

Field Spirits 

The second category of the spirits of the earth were the 
spirits of the fields. These spirits live in the fields and protect 
the crops from damage by wild animals and hailstorms. 
They also give protection to the owner of the field as he 
works in his fields. The Semas believed that while it is 
Alhou the Creator, who ordains man's worldly lot, man s 
physical well-being, riches and wealth are all given to him 
through the spirits of the field. Among them the greatest 
importance is given to one spirit called Nitsapa which means 
'he who gives wealth'. The cultivation of paddy which is an 
important crop for the Nagas as this is their staple food is 
also attributed to the generosity of the Nitsapa. As a story 
goes once a stranger came to a certain village and asked for 
shelter. No one in the village was willing to receive him 
because his body was covered with dreadful sores. Finally 
however, a widow took pity on his plight and invited him in 
and gave him food and shelter. When the stranger was 
leaving, as a sign of his gratitude, he drew out a few seeds 
from his palm and gave it to the widow to sow m her fields. 
The widow sowed these seeds in her field and there rice 
grew From that day onwards rice became known to man. 

from Animism to Christianity 


I Ins was the beginning of paddy cultivation among the 
lagas. The spirit Nitsapa was also considered to be the spirit 
..l fruitfulness and was responsible for giving good and 
plentiful crops. Thus, every year, on the occasion of 
Wtsapa-Pine the Semas worshipped this spirit in order to get 

I crops. Further, it was also believed that the Nitsapa 

In. I a special friendly relationship with the toad. Thus 
Whenever the toad cried out from the field, the Nitsapa 
WOUld send down rain at his call. 

Jungle Spirits 

Che third group is the spirits of the forests called the spirit of 
the wild or junglemen. The Semas called them Muzamuza, 
mi aning echo. In the jungle, they are heard calling out to 

ich other just like men, and at times appear to be quite 
I lose, but on search they are not traced. These jungle-men 
ire l lie spirits of the woods who very often lead men astray 
in i he jungle. Whenever a man or a woman is found missing 

n the village or the fields, that person is supposed to have 

been taken away by the spirit of the woods. The relatives of 
the lost man or woman must release a chicken in the 
I in (rtion of the jungle where he or she was supposed to have 
i ii en taken away by Muzamuza. They call out the name of 
the l<«t person as they search for him and asked Muzamuza 
i.. release him to them. Persons who are once lost to 
Muzamuza and later found by their relatives are never the 

ttme. They become mad in most cases. Muzamuza is thus a 
dreaded spirit. 

Sometimes, a man may lose his way in the jungle and 
i |ei pite every attempt to find his way, he comes to the same 

I h.i. In this case, he must cut-off a piece of his clothes or a 
port ion of his hair and leave it on a branch of a tree and then 
the man can find his way home. This is attributed to the 
■ lurming of the Python snake who generally swallows 

Minimis and men. This has no relation with the jungle-man 
hi Muzamuza. 


Emergence of Nagaland 


The fourth group of spirits is those of men, which in a 
manner of speaking can be called the ghosts of men. The 
Nagas believed that there are spirits attached to men which 
control their fate and destiny. Some individuals were 
supposed to have a number of spirits attached to them, some 
of which were animals like the tiger, the snake, the ape, etc. 
Some were even human beings who often turned out to be 
evil spirits. These spirits were called Aghau by the Semas, 
Ropfu by the Angamis, and Nisung Tanula by the Aos. It 
was believed that some of the Aghau were gifted with the 
power of prophecy while others had the power of extracting 
foreign bodies, like stones etc. from the bodies of sick men. 
It was thought that such foreign bodies were put there by the 
evil spirits. The Nagas had great faith in the powers of the 
Tumumi who were invariably consulted in case of illness. 
The Tumumi would inform the sick person whether some 
evil spirit had touched him or had put some 'dirt' in his body. 
The Tumumi would then rub the affected part of the 
patient's body and then extract, sometimes with the mouth, 
some brown juice, pieces of stone, or bits of bone or hair 
from the patient's body. There would be no mark on the 
place from where these things were extracted. I had one 
such experience when I was a child. One day when I 
experienced a severe pain in my stomach my mother at once 
sent for Luzuli who was the Tumumi in our village. The 
Tumumi touched my stomach with a bunch of medicinal 
herb, called Ailo, which she had brought with her. She also 
muttered something which I could not understand. Then, for 
sometime she massaged my stomach very gently and 
collected the skin in a particular area where I was feeling the 
pain. Then she put her mouth around this collected skin and 
sucked out several small pieces of stones from my stomach. 
She told me that when I was playing alone on the road an 
evil spirit had put these stones in my stomach. As these 
stones were removed I felt relieved of the severe pain. 

From Animism to Christianity 



The Nagas also believed in the soul of man. If a Sema built a 
temporary shelter in the jungle or on the roadside during his 
travel outside, he would always burn it down before he 
abandoned it. If this was not done then it was feared that the 
soul of the traveller would linger on behind him in that 
temporary shelter and would even eventually leave him, 
thereby causing his death. When anybody felt sick after his 
return from fields or elsewhere, it was feared that his soul 
liacl not followed him and thus caused his illness. The 
i datives of the sick man would immediately take a chicken 
I ir a dog to the field or to the place from where the sick man 
iiiurned and killed the animal. First they offered a share to 

I lie sick man's soul and then the rest was eaten up completely 
l>v l hem. No meat was taken home. The eldest among them 
would then call out loudly the sick man's name and 
request him to follow them. They would then return home 
very slowly and the sick man's soul was ushered into the 
house. Sometimes, the soul may be frightened on the way 
ami may go back to the same place. A story is told about one 
mischievous fellow who laid in wait for an acquaintance who 
had gone to the fields to call for the soul. As soon as the 
paily approached the place, the man in ambush came out 
suddenly, beat the ground just behind the passers and 
phouted aloud. The frightened soul, fled away again and the 
milortunate body, deprived of its soul, died after a few days. 

I I was also believed that if a Sema had killed a tiger he had to 
lleep on a slippery bamboo bed in order to be wakeful lest 
the soul of the dead beast returned to harm his own soul. 

The Nagas believed in the immortality of the spiritual part 
Ol man and in the transmigration of souls. The disembodied 
ipirit of a dead person could exist in various states and was 
lUSCeptible to happiness and misery in future states of 
ixistence. It was believed that a dead man's soul lingered on 
In his house for some months before leaving. Therefore in 
' a houses the seat of a dead man at the eating place was 


Emergence of Nagaland 

kept vacant and during every meal some food was set apart 
for the deceased till such time as the soul left the house. The 
Semas believed that the soul often assumed the shape of 
some bird, like the kite. This bird is called the Kithimi 
Ghau, which means 'the bird of death' (kithimi means 
death, and ghau means bird). The soul of a dead person, on 
taking the form of a kite flies off to a mountain near Wokha 
called Kithilato. Kithilato means 'the path to the hill of 
death' (titbits 'death', la is 'path', to means 'hill'). From this 
hill the soul then passes off into another world which is 
believed to be a celestial home for souls. The bird 
Kithimi Ghau is greatly revered and respected for obvious 
reasons. Whenever this bird appears hovering over any 
house, the householders offer it rice and rice-beer. The 
physical features of the Wokha mountain are such that the 
Semas associated it with the path to the next world and 
called it Kithilato. This mountain is very rocky and has many 
strata of rock in sharply defined layers going up into the sky. 
This mountain is clearly visible from the Sema territory and 
the summit of the mountain is usually hidden in clouds, 
further enhancing its extra-terrestrial connotation. The 
series of steps leading up to a partially hidden peak must 
have suggested the idea that the creator and the spirits of the 
sky lived above this mountain. Perhaps for this reason too 
the Semas called these spirits Kungumi or celestial beings. 
This celestial abode is believed to be the final and 
permanent home of the souls after leaving the body. 


The intricate system of beliefs and rituals of the Nagas 
suggests that their religion was a mixture of Animism and 
Polytheism. A very important part of the Naga belief in all 
these spiritual beings was the large number of 'gennas', or 
ceremonies, for the propitiation of these spirits. These 
gennas varied from tribe to tribe and from region to region. 
The different kinds of ceremonies, or gennas, among the 

Irom Animism to Christianity 


Semas can be combined together into three main categories: 
the Suphuwo, the Tukuphuwo, and the Choliphuwo. 
Among the Semas, the Suphuwo is the main group of 
ceremonies while the Tukuphuwo has some elements of 
Sangtam practice and the Choliphuwo has some elements of 
the practice of the Ao gennas. Here, I would like to 
concentrate more on the Suphuwo ceremonies as they are a 
part of the gennas practised by large number of the Semas. 

The Suphuwo ceremonies largely comprise of two main 
kinds-the agricultural gennas and the social gennas. These 
gennas were performed to appease the spirits of the fields 
and the spirits of the house. This would ensure prosperity 
through the fields and peace, happiness and harmony at 
home. The Chief Priest, in consultation with the wise men of 
the village, prepared and proclaimed the yearly calendar of 
agricultural gennas. This involved a consideration of the 
.lales of the weather during different times of the year. The 
sowing of the seeds was heralded by the call of the Cuckoo 
l ailed the Khashopapu in Sema. It was firmly believed that 
no sowing should be done till the song of the cuckoo is 

By the Suphuwo calculations the first genna of the 
agricultural year started with the Asuyekiphe Pine. This 
implied the clearing of the new 'jhum', or cultivation. On 
the day of this genna everyone was forbidden from cutting 
wood, husk paddy, spin, weave, sew clothes, string beads or 
peel or tie bamboos. The next day all the cultivators who 
had to clear their fields and prepare for new cultivation 
prepared an offering to the spirits of the fields. This offering 
was in the form of an egg placed on a stick of a special wood 
. ailed Thumusu. This stick was split into three at the top to 
hold the egg. On the spot where this egg was placed, later a 
field house was built. Thereafter the clearing operations 
were started. However, a small patch of land was left 
uncleared for the next genna. 

The second genna associated with agriculture was called 
i he Luwupine. On this day the uncleared patches in the field 


Emergence of Nagaland 

were finally cleared off. Immediately after the clearing was 
over offerings of animals like chicken, pig or dog, were 
made on some suspected spots in the field, particularly near 
a pond or a stream having reddish or dark coloured water in 

11 The third genua was the Vesavela which took place after 
Jhums had been burnt and the fields were ready for sowing 
On this day again all weaving, spinning, sewing etc. as well 
as all work in the fields were forbidden. Further, on this day 
special care was taken to see that no loud sound was 
produced. It was believed that any such sound would invoke 
the storms which would then damage the fields and make 
them unfit for sowing. 

In the series of gennas to honour the spirits of the field, 
the fourth was the Nitsapa Pine. This genna was to invoke 
the spirits of the field responsible for the fertility, wealth and 
fruitfulness of the fields. For the duration of this genna all 
activities like husking of paddy, spinning, weaving, etc. were 
forbidden. In this genna all rich and important people o the 
village offered sacrifices of pigs. After the pigs were killed, 
one of its hind legs was offered to the Amthau who would be 
the first reaper of the harvest when the crop was ready tor 
cutting. The word Amthau, means 'crop cutter' (the word 
'am' means crop, while the word 'thau' means cutter The 
genna of Nitsapa marked the completion of all the 
preparations of the fields. Now the process of sowing could 

commence. , . 

After the Nitsapa Pine two more gennas were observed in 
order to ensure good and plentiful crop. One is the Miti 
genna which was performed to prevent damage to the crops 
by insects etc. The second was the . Muza genna which is 
performed to ensure luxurious growth of crops. After the 
performance of these two gennas the whole village could go 
out to sow the seeds. First the whole village sowed the seeds 
in the field of the Awou, the Awou himself starting first, 
followed by the others. Then the whole village sowed seeds 
in the Chiefs fields. After this the villagers could go and sow 

i rom Animism to Christianity 


the seeds in their own fields. If the rains did not come in time 
then the Tsutsughu Pine genna was performed in order to 
invoke the rains to come on time. 

One of the most important gennas associated with 
agriculture was the Tuluni genna. The duration of the 
performance of this genna was five days. This genna took 
place during the last five days of the last quarter of the 
moon. During these days one was forbidden from going into 
the fields and everyone had to remain chaste in order to 
ward off ill-luck to the family. The first day of this genna was 
called the Asuza which meant preparing wine from millets. 
The second day was called the Aghiza which meant brewing 
wine from rice. The liquor brewed from rice is called 
Azhicho. The third day of the genna was the Ashigheni 
which meant cutting meat. On this day everyone had to 
remain in the village and eat pork. If pork was not eaten on 
that day, grain would not form properly. The fourth day of 
this genna was the Anyighini. This was the 'offering day' and 
from this word we have the derivation Anyi or Tuluni. On 
this day every married couple presented an offering at the 
foot of the front central post of the house. This pillar was 
Called Akhetsu Kucho or the king pillar. The fifth and the 
last day of the genna was called the Laghepine. On this day 
the common path to the fields was cleared by all the male 
members of the village. After this clearing the women were 
allowed to go to work in the fields. With this the ceremonies 
of the Tuluni or the Anyi genna came to an end. 

After the important Tuluni genna, there were two other 
gennas called the Saghu Pine. The Saghus were twin spirits, 
one male and the other female, who were considered to be 
is cruel as they were evil. Great care was taken to avoid and 
confuse these two spirits. The Awou, or the Priest, would 
• leceive these spirits by announcing wrong dates for this 
genna; otherwise it was believed that he would die an 
untimely death. The doors of the houses were kept closed to 
prevent these spirits from entering the house. Again, on this 
> lay no noise was produced. The Saghus were believed to get 


Emergence of Nagaland 

annoyed with noise and would then visit the earth in the 
form of storms or whirlwinds and spoil the crop. Pigs were 
killed by important people of the village at dawn and the 
meat was distributed among the villagers. While receiving 
the meat a villager would squeeze out through a barely 
opened door so as to keep the evil spirits out. A piece of this 
meat was burnt before the front pillar of the house as a 
means of appeasing the Saghu spirits. After this appease- 
ment was over the doors of the house were thrown open. 
The person who had killed the pigs received one day's free 
labour from every recipient of the meat. These gennas were 
kept at full moon and the harvesting process would begin on 
the next new moon. 

Aphikimithe Pine (Cleansing Genna) is held three days 
before the first day fixed for cutting of the crop by Amthau 
(First Reaper). Before dawn on this day, all males went to 
the nearest river and wash their bodies, weapons and 
clothes. They brought back with them new water in new 
bamboo vessels. They did not touch the old water in their 
houses on that* day. During this night all males had to remain 
chaste and after taking with them clean clothes and 
weapons, they went to some member of their clan who had a 
clean house, and slept away from their wives. There they 
collected fermented rice from which they made liquor with 
the new water that they brought. On the day of the 
ceremony, they sat and drank the new liquor. They 
abstained from rice and meat of domesticated animals but 
they only ate meat of wild animals which they had collected 

In the afternoon, all the male members would go to a 
particular place called Aghunoa outside the village and 
drank together. After they finished their drink, each one of 
them would split the bamboo vessel into two equal parts and 
give a toast for his good health. Each one of them would say, 
"Aphikimithe-Mithe" (Aphi— body, Kimithe— cleansing) 
and threw up the bamboo vessels (jhunga). If the two sides 
of bamboo fell in two opposite directions-the east and the 

/ nun Animism to Christianity 


west , then the toast was taken to be of a very good omen and 
Ik i'elt very happy. They would repeat the process till they 
get good result. In the evening they all returned to the place 
mid all meat and drink unconsumed by them would be 
I hi riod in one pit near the village. On this day of the 
I eremony, the whole village would stay at home. No body allowed to go to the fields to work or visit any other 
Milage. The next day, the First Reaper (Amthau) went to 
the Held and cut a single head of rice from his field and 
deposited it in his granary. After this, reaping of the crops 
MM open to the general public. 


ibunakuchu Pine. (Ahu-top, Na-rice, Kuchu-eating). 
I Ins means the first eating of the new rice from the top of 
the newly stored crop. This festival is celebrated after all the 
Crops are harvested and brought home and stored in the 
granary. This festival goes on for two days. The first day is 
« Riled Abosuho, that is to say, the 'making of Mat enclosure' 
fol l lie grain. Nagasuse bamboo mats for enclosing the grain 
which is heaped up inside the mat enclosure in the granary. 
< Mi the first day, Abosuho is done on the porch of the house 
l >\ men and in the evening all male persons in the family are 

I pa rated from women and sleep away from them. The 
lesiival continues the next day and they drink and eat meat 
Ol wild animal and remain separated from the women of the 
family. Only at the crowing of the cock next morning, the 

I I stival comes to an end. This completes all the festivals 
Connected with agriculture. 

There is another important set of festivals performed by 
the Sema tribe. These are religious ceremonies no doubt but 
ire connected with the attainment of social status. The first 
ol ihcse is the Shikusho, which means 'eating and drinking' 
festival. The man who performed Shikusho will kill pigs kept 
f c > i the purpose and the flesh is distributed and liquor 
provided for the whole village for six days. The next higher 


Emergence of Nagaland 

and bigger festival he can perform is Aphikusa. In this 
Aphikusa, bulls are killed and meat and liquor are also 
provided, as before, for six days to the whole village^ 
Y-shaped ceremony posts called Michisuqhedu are fixed 
firmly in front of the house, each representing the bulls 
killed Bulls are tied to these ceremony posts and then 
slaughtered. The man who does this Aphikusa is now 
entitled to wear Akhumi-the Sema shawl which is treated as 
prestigious cloth signifying great respect and honour. 

Higher and more honourable than the Abhikusa genna 
was the Avikuqo genna. This genna involved the pulling ; of 
the Mithun animal. One or more mithuns offered by the 
genna performer are taken to distant villages by the mate 
members of the village for display. During the process of this 
display the villagers would sing and run alongside the 
mithuns who are tied with cane robes. The villagers would 
run in front and after the mithuns. Care was taken that the 
mithun should not run away and escape as this would be a 
very bad omen and would result in a terrible calamity 
befalling the man performing the genna. After the mithun 
had been displayed in the nearby and even distant villages, it 
was brought back, tied to a genna post called Aqhedu an| 
then killed ceremoniously. During the performance of all 
the above gennas the village would put on a festive air. Men 
and women would be arrayed in their best and come and 
dance with joy and merriment around the genna posts 
throughout the duration of the genna. After performing the 
Avikuqo genna its performer was entitled to put up the 
Aghuza outside his house. The Aghuza was a tail bamboo 
pole, thickly decorated with cane leaves and the lower halt 
of this pole was supported by a rough forked pole called he 
Michisukuba. At the lower end of this pole ornamented 
baskets and gourds were tied. Along with them were the 
Qugupu or the clattering sticks. These sticks swung and 
clattered whenever the wind blew. Along with the Aghuza 
the performer of the Avikuqo genna was also entitled to 
put horn-shaped long twin bamboos crossing each other, on 

I i, 'in Animism to Christianity 


the roof-top of his house. These were called the Tunhaqu. 
Uong with all this the Avikuqo performer was also entitled 
to have a properly decorated house called Akikigheki with 
the rounds of thatch cut in a proper line. With the 

ipletion of this genna one was considered to have 

pleted all the necessary ceremonies and had attained the 

highest status in society. 

\part from these there were also feasts of honour like 
Hi. Inamikusa and the Kupulhu-Kilekeu. The first was a 
i .1 of honour given to another village, while the second 
l more of a personal and individual nature as it implied 
living a feast to an individual for friendship. Such feasts 

■ i luld be given only by the very rich members of a village and 
I luch they cannot be considered to be a part of the regular 
Di ial status gennas. 

With all these spirits, complex beliefs, and the varieties of 
ii i. is , life was intensely interesting, delightful as well as com- 
i ii 1 1 1 ive. There was honour to be claimed through effort and 

I harm to be enjoyed for the asking. Those who managed to 

■ i implete the various ceremonies could well be proud of their 

II hievements. Further, all these rituals, ceremonies and 
i • 1 1 1 1; is were built around the communal life of the people . This 

because the Naga society was a very closed and well-knit 
One. In it the individual was subordinated to the community. 
I lowever there was a large measure of individual freedom 
M hich made one feel delighted in the welfare of his village. 
\ Naga worked for his village, enjoyed the benefits given to 
him by the village and participated in joy and merriment in 
I hi different feasts of the village. One's individual pride was 
lltli to the pride of the village. Thus, the Naga villagers 
maintained and enjoyed a disciplined life. Existence was all 
till' lime involved and active with little scope for getting 
hored or listless. Every month had its series of feasts and a 
targe number of ceremonies which were connected with the 
fields, the home or the social set-up. One had to be active 
oihI alert to be able to cope up with the requirements of the 
Village as well as the home. 


Emergence of Nagaland 

However, as is obvious, life was also full of superstitions 
and fear. It was a constant struggle to perform all the gennas 
to keep the large number of spirits in a state of appease- 
ment. The variety of sacrifices required on several occasions 
involving the use of eggs, chicken, pigs, dogs, bulls, and 
mithuns, must have been very taxing for the comparatively- 
poorer sections of society. Those who could not offer the 
required sacrifices were always haunted by the fear of evil 
spirits and impending calamities. Thus, peace of mind must 
have been a much coveted and rare commodity those days. 


It is against this background that one has to see the work of 
the Christian missionaries and the working of the Gospel 
among the Naga tribes. Initially, Christianity was bitterly 
opposed. Christian preachers, like pastors and evangelists, 
were driven away from their villages and even those who 
remained, were denied many facilities in the village as 
pressure tactics on them not to preach Christianity. 

Manv problems arose between those who still held the 
faith of their forefathers and the new converts. All new 
converts had been strictly forbidden to touch alcohol in any 
form. Any new convert who drank after his conversion was 
expelled from the Christian community. As a result of this 
there arose a sharp division between the drinkers and 
non-drinkers now called Christians. Christians were asked 
to drink only tea. Rice beer called Madhu was a popular 
drink among the Nagas before the advent of Christianity. 

Another problem arose over the ceremonies and festivals 
involving the whole village. The non-Christians insisted that 
every body belonging to the village must observe the 
ceremony and nobody should violate the ceremony by 
leaving the village on that day. Again regarding the village 
subscriptions, the Christians refused to subscribe for the 
sacrifices done for the propitiations of the spirits. It so 

in \uimism to Christianity 


!i ipcd that Christians believed that they were a different 

i i who no longer had anything to do with ancient 
hi of any kind. They even went to the extent of 

ii lately offending the ancient sentiments. This led to 
less quarrels and thus the Christians had to be 

ii ik'd and given a new site for their new Christian 

like Mulongyimsen in Ao area and New Tsumenyu 
in Rengma area in Kohima district. Again, as the 
American Baptist Missionaries were busy in their 

usation and in establishing their base of administration, 

ilul not pay full attention to the proper selection of their 
• ngers. They sent new converts for spreading the 
of the Gospel. These new converts, who were 
l ill nmy villagers till yesterday, approached those who still 

II hi I he faith of their forefathers, with an air of superiority 

i fins incurred the wrath of the elders of the village. 
Inin dI them did suffer at the hands of the village 
llll In >ri tics who were still powerful as they were in a 
nily. The new converts, who had become pastors and 
■mm lists, were very keen to baptize new converts and 
promised too many miracles; that the poor would 

1 c rich, all sickness would be cured, and those who 

i'il lor children were assured of children if they only 

I i Christians. Many did accept Christianity no doubt, 

hill many went back to their original faith when their 
1. 1 1 ions were not fulfilled. 
I ong before the Christian missionaries came to the Naga 
i i^i i here was some understanding among the foreign 
1 In r Man missionaries that their activities in India should 
■ mi diet with each other. They tried to avoid overlapping 
llli'li work and thus Assam was assigned to the Protestant 
( 'lunches. The Naga Hills district of Assam fell to the share 

III the American Baptists. In 1851, a few Ao Nagas, 
|n ( ially those who belonged to the villages bordering 

i car district of Assam, were converted and became the 

hers of the Sibsagar Baptist Church. 

In the spring of 1876, Dr Clark of the American Baptist 


Emergence of Nagaland 

Missionary Society, with the help of Mr Subongmeren, a 
local Ao convert and Mr Godhula, an Assamese Evangelist 
and others opened a Baptist Mission Centre at Molungyim- 
chen village. However, as the number of converts grew, 
there came about the question of the observance of the local 
religious customs and rituals etc. , and the village was bitterly 
divided on the question of religion. So in autumn, Dr Clark 
founded a new Christian village called Molungyimsen. This 
village contained the converts from Molungyimchen as well 
as a few families from the Merangkong village, a few miles 
away from Molungyimchen, the original village. As soon as 
the entire Ao area was brought under British administra- 
tion, the Mission Centre at Molungyimsen was shifted to the 
present Ao Baptist Mission Centre at Impur on 4 October, 
1894. Impur became the centre for many years not only for 
the Ao churches but also for the churches of the Semas, the 
Lothas, the Changs, the Phoms and the Sangtams. This 
centre at Impur has produced many powerful Gospel 
preachers like Rev. Longri and talented teachers like Mr 
Mayangnokcha and through them the Gospel message was 
spread far and wide in Naga Hills. 

Similarly, in the Kohima district, the first American 
Baptist Mission Centre was opened at Chumukedima but it 
was later shifted to Kohima alongwith the shifting of the 
District Headquarters. Rev CD. King was the first 
Chiristian Missionary for this area. In 1885 with the first 
conversion of one Angami, the foundation for spreading the 
Gospel message was established in this district. The Mission 
centre at Kohima with, Dr Rivenburg as Missionary 
incharge, opened a few Mission Schools and through them 
spread the Gospel message to other tribes, like the Rengma, 
the Chakhesang, the Sema arid Zieliangrong. The Kohima 
Mission Centre also produced Gospel preachers like Rev 
Savino and administrators like Mr Kevichusa, Mr Zopianga, 
Mr Longalang, Mr J.B. Jasokie and Mr Vizol, etc. 

The case of dividing villages between the Christian and 
the non-Christian also took place in this district. One Rev 

From Animism to Christianity 


Vllczu of Rengma was driven away from his village 
' mmenyu and he was allowed to establish a Christian 
lllttge called New Tsemenyu. Such cases happened in other 
I 'I . u cs also. 


One wonders why the Nagas gave up their old religion which 
so fascinating, glorious and delightful, and embraced 
I hristianity? Why was the rate of conversion so fast? As 
ltl< in loned earlier, the life of a Naga was full of superstitions 
mil l^ars. Moreover the process of the propitiation of 
1 ■ ii (ul spirits was very costly and beyond the means of most 
people. On the other hand, the lack of such an appeasement 
llwnys invited vengeance and calamities from the wild 
pints. Against such a background, the Christian message of 

Ium from fear, superstitions and above all from wild 

pirits did appeal strongly to the Naga minds. The second 
ipproach was that the religion of the Nagas was nothing 
mote llian heathenism which was the religion of ignorant 
mil barbaric people. Nagas were told that there is a true 
Hoil and they must worship and acknowledge this true God. 
Him must give up all their pagan-like characteristics of 
illlnking wine, sexual laxity, stealing, and above all head- 

'' ''• Instead, they must love one another and they must 

1 themselves as soldiers of Christ. The Naga tribes were 

lolil "bout the heathen world of the Jews and the Greeks. 
I hi 1 ) were also told how Christ was sent by God to this 
•i lil and how Christ lived in this world and died on the 
to save mankind from their sins. Many genuinely 
I ll< veil in the truth of the Gospel message. 

i he most effective way of attracting the simple villagers to 
< 'limtinnity was by telling them about Hell-fire. All persons 
*lm were not Christians would be burnt for ever in an 
nig lire after their death. It was thus safer to become a 
1 hi i ii, in in order to secure oneself from the dangers of 
lie IN ire. All Christians firmly believed that the non- 


Emergence of Nagaland 

Christians were doomed to this terrible fate, and the 
non-Christian brothers were naturally inclined to think that 
there may be something in it. In order to feed them with the 
Gospel message and to strengthen the new converts, the 
Baptist missionaries engaged themselves in the translation 
of the Bible into the local languages. Special attention was 
given to the translation of the New Testament which dealt 
more with the life of Jesus Christ and his message of 
Salvation. Salvation is the deliverance from sin and the 
saving of the soul and its admission to eternal bliss. Many 
pioneering Christian missionaries were men of great faith 
and did many valuable services to the Naga tribes. 

The Nagas indeed are indebted to the pioneering mis- 
sionaries for their work in the field of education, medical 
services, humanitarian work and above all in providing 
enlightenment. It is now a little over one hundred years 
since the Nagas accepted Christianity as their religion and it 
has exerted a tremendous influence on their lives. Many of 
them have given up excessive drinking which used to be the 
practice and the pride of their ceremonies and festivals. All 
evils connected with drunkenness are greatly reduced. 
Christians have also realised that it is immoral and sinful to 
carry on any pre-marital or extra-marital relationships. 
Marriages should be strictly solemnised and the family 
should be considered holy, respectful and should live in the 
love of God. The Christian missionaries have also, through- 
out, insisted on the importance of cleanliness. They said that 
cleanliness was next to godliness. This drive for cleanliness 
saved themselves from many diseases specially the skin 
diseases which used to be very common in the past. 

Cultural Setback 

Everything done in connection with the tribal ceremonies 
and festivals was regarded as an act against Christianity. The 
house decorations with animal-heads, which the Nagas 
valued as their trophies of valour, and the Mithun horns 

f'MiMi \nitnism to Christianity 


1 1 H 1 1 were a symbol of their prosperity as well as objects of 
mi were all destroyed. Even the wood carvings on the 
us of their houses were all ordered to be burnt out. The 
i mi)>. with conspicuous designs and colours arid the 
ll ig of clothes and dresses for religious ceremonies were 
ill discouraged. Their beautiful ornaments of great artistic 
I human value, like cowries, ivory, scarlet hair and 
ubills, were all burnt as they were ornaments used for 
•i hipping the spirits. The art of dancing and colourful 
I 1 1 ceremonies were all given up. The result is that all 
will ill art and culture of the Nagas nearly disappeared. 
I Miropean dresses, mostly rags, which they received as 
liom America and England, were sold to them, and 
nil Jollies from Assam were also encouraged. Nagas 
led neglecting their own talents of weaving clothes and 
i uli d lollowing the Western culture and cultivating the 
lc rn outlook. The worst part of all this is the loss of 
I rest in their own way of life. The result is the gradual 
i\ and eventual neglect of their rich culture, 
far as the Christian religion is concerned, every Naga 
lli ves today that the Christian religion for him is a religion 

i (certainty to certainty, from darkness to light; from 

ill io eternal life; damnation to salvation. A Biblical 
which the Christian missionaries often quoted from the 

I ol the Prophet Isaiah runs like this: "The people, that 
liked in darkness have seen a great light; they that dwell in 

llli land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light 
•tinned." (Isaiah 9:2). 

Churches and Religious Institutions 

Al present, there are several Christian denominations 

I I ing in Nagaland. They are: (1) Baptists, (2) Catholics, 
(Ml he Assembly of God, (4) Ceylong Penticostal, (5) The 

inland Revival Church, (6) The Seven Day Adventists. 
| hcii arc in all 16 tribal associations with 2,20,617 
Used members. The Christian population of Nagaland is 


Emergence of Nagaland 

more than 85% of the total population of the State. The 
remaining population is of Hindus, Jains, Sikhs, Buddhists 
and Muslims. They are all non-Nagas living in Nagaland as 
businessmen or officials of the Government. Nagas still 
holding on to their traditional religion have almost dis- 
appeared, and the question of Christian and non-Christian 
which once assumed great importance is no longer found in 
Nagaland. There are now, no foreign missionaries working in 
Nagaland. The churches are self-supporting. Every village 
in Nagaland has a church which is the largest and the best 
building. Every church has a pastor who is paid by the 
church. Every tribe has its Christian Association. These 
tribal associations are under the guidance and supervision of 
the All Nagaland Christian Associations. There are now 
many faithful and gifted preachers, evangelists and pastors 
in Nagaland. Every year almost the entire population 
attends these tribal Christian Associations. 

There are occasional rivalries among the different Christ- 
ian denominations and often there are also disputes within 
the same denomination over the modes of worship. Some of 
them want to dance while singing but others do not like it. 
Some of them want to pray loudly at the top of their voices 
but others do not approve of it. The central cementing 
power is not very effective. The reason, according to me, is 
the absence of mature and elderly Christian leadership in all 
these tribal Christian Associations. Many of them have 
either passed away or retired from Mission work. The 
younger leadership, though capable and active, do not 
command respect as many of them have not yet shown 
enough spiritual faith in their own personal lives. The unity 
of the Church of Christ is not strictly followed in all these 
tribal churches and specially among the different Christian 
denominations. There is a lack of love and understanding 
among them which creates confusion and sometimes brings 
about divisions among them. 

From Animism to Christianity 


Retention of Cultural Heritage 

Whatever religion the Naga tribes may adopt, or whichever 

I linstian denomination they may follow, they should never 
forget or neglect their rich social and cultural heritage. Their 
l( lentity as a distinct tribe can contribute and enrich the great 
multi-racial and multi-cultural family of India. They must 
I10W try to find out and know whether any damage has been 
• lone by foreign missionaries to their social and cultural 
lives? They must also find out whether they have neglected 
their traditional virtues? In fact, Nagas must try to revive and 

I I cngthen their rich social and cultural life. About one thing 
Which I am happy and always feel proud is that in spite of the 
Initial restrictions and discouragements enforced by foreign 
missionaries not to wear traditional clothes, as they were 
I Onsidered to be heathenish, the Naga tribes did not forget 
ind neglect theirtraditional shawls. They have rather develop- 
ed them into many new and beautiful designs. Today, in every 
large gathering of Christian Associations, thousand's of men 
ind [women wear their colourful tribal shawls and thus enliven 
their various associations. Nobody now questions whether or 
""' " is heathenish to wear these tribal shawls. 

AN Naga tribes have a most remarkable appreciation of 
CMrvings in wood for the ornamentation of their houses and 
moroongs of the villages. The carvings on the king pillar 
01 the house indicate the social status of the family. The 

d carvings of the Konyak tribe are specially very 

Intricate. Many of them have artistic originality which must 
Bi encouraged. The Nagas have good taste in wood 
livings, like Mithun heads with twine beautiful horns, 
• irvings of tigers, wolves, hornbills with brilliant feathers,' 
I l( These are in keeping with their environment and their 
mihitat. In fact, the Christian leadership in Nagaland should 
Ho longer treat them as things of the past or heathenish, as 
I « »ghl by the foreign missionaries. They must encourage 

" l(> carve *e image of Christ, his disciples, the angels 

H> in wood and adorn their homes and churches with such 


Emergence of Nagaland 

carvings. Today all churches in Nagaland are mere lmmita- 
tions of the churches in Europe and America. They do not 
reflect the Naga art and culture. The loss*of interest in one's 
originality poses the greatest danger of moving towards the 
extinction of one's social and even religious life. Nagas have 
great creativity and this must be promoted for its aesthetic 
qualities as well as for strengthening and enriching their faith 
in God. 

Dancing and singing are a part of tribal life. Their joys are 
expressed through their songs and their jubilations exhibited 
in their dances. Dances were once forbidden because they 
were associated with the ceremonies of worshipping the 
spirits. For many years the Nagas were told to think that it 
was a sin to dance. The art of dancing was thus eroded by 
their conversion to Christianity. Nagas usually dance in 
groups, and sometimes the whole village joins in during their 
festivals. Dancing enlivens their social life. It is a healthy 
and harmless recreation. It promotes unity and brotherhood 
and looks charming with their colourful ornaments, cos- 
tumes, cowries, ivory, scarlet hair and brilliant hornbill 
feathers. They keep themselves active with fresh vigour 
through these brilliant festivities. The Naga tribes will have 
to preserve their cultural identity. This they can do by 
observing their important festivals like Sakhrinyi for the 
Angamis, Moatsu for the Aos, Tuluni for the Semas etc. 
After all, these festivals were all observed for invoking the 
blessings of God for their good crops as well as for their 
health and wealth. It will be in the fitness of things that they 
convert their traditional culture to Christian arts and culture 
in order to glorify Almighty God and to make their life 
richer and happier. Their colourful dances should be 
encouraged by both the Church and the government. These 
dances could take place during their important tribal 
festivals, including Christmas and the New Year. 

Chapter 4 


Historical Process 

Historical processes have their own inner, and often illusive, 
Imperative logic. While we may trace the course and identify 
Ihr causes of historical movements, often these may prove to 

1 asquerades for the mysterious and surreptitious com- 

pulsions which push the human race forward. However, 
hindsight enables one to demarcate certain watersheds in 
I he course of history which mark outstanding changes in the 
life of a people. Similarly, in the course of the history of the 
Nliga hills and its numerous tribes, four major events can be 
lilrniilied which cast a considerable influence on the lives of 
Ihi people living there. The discovery of tea on the sloping 
imtain-sides and the foothills in 1830; the occupation of 
Miii nia and the prospects of exclusive trade with China in the 
iH'IOs; the changing role of the trading East India 
' miipany into an empire building and the construction of a 
I ml way line through the tribal belt close to the tea gardens in 
iNNli, were these four events. 

Tea Plantations 

I hi" discovery and development of tea plantation in the 
Nli^i hills played a very significant role in the history of the 
■ i people. While different names are associated with the 
llK' ' 'very of tea in these hills, it is generally attributed to one 
Ml Robert Bruce, brother of Mr A.C. Bruce who was 
Ti i led- to the command of a division of gun-boats in 1824 


Emergence of Nagaland 

and ordered up to Sadiya during the First Burmese War 
Robert Bruce came to Assam in 1823 with an assortment ot 
goods for disposal. During these years Assam was occupied 
by the Burmese. It is surmised that Robert Bruce was 
perhaps sent there by the British to feel the lay off the land 
and also to enlist the help of tribal chiefs in the impending 
war with Burma. Though Bruce did meet certain Singpho 
chiefs it has not been possible to establish the veracity ot 
this allegation. Bruce claimed to be a botanical expert and 
he convinced the Singpho Chief that tea, growing wild in 
their area, could match very favourably with the tea 
imported from China. Moreover, this area was conducive to 
the growth of the best tea. The finest tea produced in China, 
grew in areas which fell between the 25 and 33 
of latitude. The tea-producing areas in Assam fall between 
the most favourable 27th Parallel and the 28th Parallel. 

The import of tea from Peking by the Bhutias was a sore 
point for the trading Britishers in India and England. The 
tea brought from Lhasa cost over Rs 12 per seer whereas 
Assam tea could be obtained for less than half that price. 
As, according to Captain Turner, over seven lakh rupees 
worth of tea was consumed per annum by the Teshu Lumbu 
district alone, tea trade with Bhutan could be a very 
profitable enterprise. It would not only develop the area but 
would contribute in no small measure to the future welfare 
of the Empire. Another advantage of developing tea- 
gardens in this area was that the cost of importing tea from 
Peking by the arduous and dangerous land journey of eight 
months was also cut short. 

Use of tea was in vogue in Europe even before the 16th 
Century and it was imported from China. In 1664, the East 
India Company presented the King of England with 2 lb 
and 2 ozs of tea. Since then tea came to occupy an important 
place in the life of all classes of British communities. 1m 
order to meet the increasing demand for tea,.more and more 
ships were pressed into service. With a view to bringing m 
more tea leaves, these ships had to give up carrying many 

/ mi,/ \ v..<m lioiimlary Issue 


in uliclcs which were now easily available within 
1 i ri lories I5v 1833 the East India Company had 
lulled producing tea. At a rough estimate, this 
i KM " i. lined ;ilmost 32 million pounds of tea for home 
npllon As the popularity of tea increased manifold, it 
ll Idi red expedient t o use British capital and industry 
such tea in Assam which was capable of 
Utipi lliif) with the best produce of China. Robinson says: 

i\ mi', loo much when we venture to assert that a 

1 "I' prospect was never opened up to the British 

ipii w nli a greater certainty of a rich reward." It was 

1 British sense for trade and marketing which 

III kobcrl Bruce to Assam in 1823. Again, it was this 
loi icn trade which made the British accept the request 
III \ li< mii Rulers in 1824 to help them drive out the 
from their land. After the Burmese had been 

1 the British set about consolidating their hold 

■ lli< .nea and, on one pretext or the other, refused to 
I " 'wer with the Ahom Kings. The Ahom dynasty had 
lully ruled over Assam for over six centuries. Thus 

i • Id be no q uestion of doubt about their administrative 

Hid political acumen as well as their sense of basic human 
liii I ni l her, the areas under the Ahom Rulers had always 
ii pi < »sperous. But the British, in their greed for the profi- 
' 1 li i iiade,overlookedallthesemeritsoftheAhomRulers. 
\ prosperous land is always an invitation and a challenge 
1 n '" H inders and starving desperados. Prosperity also had 
\\W tendency of making the people indolent and ease-loving. 
I lui lliey become an easy prey to foreign invasion. All the 
ions of India, whether from Greece, Mongolia or 
ma, can be traced to this basic fact. In the case of most of 
invaders, they stayed in the country sharing the wealth 
ill die land with the people. However, the British trader- 

"lers denuded the country and carried off all they 

ild io their own country. In doing this they left the 

'Y not only in a state of political turmoil but also in 

iihwnic chaos and social confusion. 


Emergence of Nagaland 

Tea Companies 

The British spent a few years consolidating their occupation 
over Assam. Then the British Administration commissioned 
Captain Jenkins to assess the resources of Assam, with 
special reference to tea plantation. Captain Jenkins 
approached Robert Bruce to obtain a comprehensive report 
on the locations of these plantations as well as the different 
modes of preparation of tea employed by the tribes. 
Encouraged by Captain Jenkins' assessment, the government 
employed a number of botanical experts, scientists and 
administrators to prepare a fuller feasibility report for the 
cultivation of tea plants. This work was carried out without 
anv loss of time and the report was accepted by the 
government. As a result, in February 1839, an Assam 
Company was formed in England. This Company had 10 000 
equity shares out of which eight thousand were allotted to 
the English gentry in England and two thousand to their 
traders in India. This Company then entered into negotia- 
tions with the government to acquire all the tea plantations 
and factories. Lord Auckland agreed to transfer two-thirds 
of all Government establishments and tea plantations to this 
Company The Government also nominated Robert Bruce 
on the Management Board of the Company. The result 
was that the Tea Barries between the Bari-Dihung and Tmgn 
and from the high road from Jaipur to Sadiya, joining these 
two rivers (a tract of about 7000 acres) was transferred to the 
Company The Company established its main factory at the 
junction of the Bari-Dihung and Tingri rivers. Another 
factory was set up at Dibrugarh where the head offices were 

also situated. > 

The effects of tea-cultivation on the lives of the Nagas can 
be seen from the fact that it was the Singphos who first 
allowed Bruce to start tea research on their land and it was 
the Singphos who were the first to lose their fertile 
tea-producing areas to the British in return for meagre 
considerations. Thus the war-like Singphos were subdued 

Nagaland- Assam Boundary Issue 


and they "abandoned their old habits of lawlessness and 
1. 1 pine, and turned their attention to agriculture, now 
becoming necessary for their subsistence." Ningroola, a 
Singpho chief, was made a tea cultivator and he produced 
tea for some time. Later he had to surrender his plantations 
to the superior British cultivators. 

Clash of Interests for Land 

In the sixties there was a near mania for tea cultivation. The 
prospects of prosperity in this cultivation were so markedly 
evident that even people in other walks of life suddenly 
mined to tea cultivation. Sir Edward Gait, in his History of 
\ssam, sums up this craze as under: 

The conspicuous success of the Assam and Jorhat Com- 
panies, the latter which was formed in 1858 from the 
Estates of Messrs Williamson, led to the most extravagant 
idea regarding the prospects of tea cultivation. Fresh 
gardens were opened in all directions and a period of wild 
excitement and speculation supervened. The mania ex- 
tended even to the Government officers and three Deputy 
Commissioners and several Police officers threw up their 
appointments to engage in tea gardens. 

At another place, Sir Edward Gait writes: 

As early as 1860, the Assam Company took up land for 
tea cultivation, in the Naga Hills, 20 years or more before 
any other Company was started. Due to occurrence of 
many clashes between the tea gardens and the Nagas, the 
imperial power had to take preventive measures to ease 
tension along the border by prohibiting any fresh grant 
south of Ladoigarh which was recognised as the boundary 
between Naga territory and Assam. The Lieutenant 
Governor of Bengal prohibited such fresh grants vide 
Letter No. 2733, dated Fort William, the 13th June 1871. 

By the mid-sixties, all the land suitable for tea cultivation 


Emergence of Nagaland 


in the north of the Brahmaputra as well as in the Muttuck 
country, which measured well over one lakh acres, was 
apportioned among the British cultivators. This land earher 
belonged to the Naga tribes. When no more land was left 
here the Britishers turned their sights to the south of 
Ladoigarh or the Naga bunds. Here the British cultivators 
did not find things very easy. Their efforts to cultivate the 
lands in this area created an uproar. An affected Naga Chief 
approached Lt. Col. W. Agnwe, offg. Commissioner o 
Assam and Secretary to the Government of Bengal, Judicia 
Department. Lt. Col. Agnwe accepted the representation of 
the Naga Chief, and in Note No. 185 dated 10th June, 1869, 
at Gauhati, he made the following observations: 

The Mouzadar who appeared before me states the 
boundary marks are on the Ladoigarh. The road 
(Ladoigarh) referred to, however, is certainly regarded by 
the Nagas as their boundary; and we have never yet to 
their knowledge claimed any other. The grant of land tor 
tea cultivation to the south of it (the Ladoigarh) is a step 
much to be regretted; and on political grounds, Govern- 
ment I think, might interdict cultivation being com- 
menced on these estates to the south side of the road still 
lying fallow either wholly or in part. For that matter I 
should suppose there can be little doubt that on grounds 
of public policy Government might even go a step further 
and cancel these grants. Of course no fresh grant will be 
riven in the direction referred to, and inquiry shall be 
instituted in regard to the circumstances under which the 
revenue survey has carried on operations to the south of 
the Ladoigarh. 

The Secretary to the Government of Bengal, Hon'ble A. 
Eden, wrote back on 30th September, 1869, saying: 

On consideration of all the circumstances the Lt. Gov- 
ernor thinks it right to make the prohibition to grant fresh 
land south of the Ladoigarh road permanent, 

Nagaland- Assam Boundary Issue 


Mr H.L. Harrison, Offg. Junior Secretary to the Govern- 
ment of Bengal (to the Commissioner of Assam), in the note 
No. 2733, dated 19th June, 1871, said: 

It appears that the Ladoigarh line is assumed by the Nagas 
to be the boundary, and that the propriety of the claim 
seems to be in some measure admitted by the local officers 
who regret that some grants have been made beyond the 
line; and the late Lt. Governor accordingly prohibited any 
fresh grants beyond the line. 

Thus, it is clear that the British interests in the tea industry 
lead to their other interests in the Assam area and also to 
their annexation of Upper Burma in 1886. The British 
Government in India took an active interest in opening up 
and making habitable a large section of these mountains on 
the southern side of the valley between Assam and Burma. 
The ostensible reason for this was to put a stop once and for 
all to the "murderous raiding by the tribes, which was a 
source of perpetual terror and menace to the British trading 
interest and its subjects." In reality it was more the British 
trading and Empire interests than the question of providing 
protection to the British subjects which caused this hectic 
activity. The British were not content with just placing a 
huge armed force in these hills; roads were made by beggar 
workers, called Dhadar Ali, so as to make the remotest 
areas easily accessible to them. This was followed by the 
construction of the rail road through the area occupied by 
the Nagas and the other tribes. The history of the railways 
has shown that apart from the facilities it can provide, it is 
also one of the most powerful factors for social disintegra- 
tion. Apart from such activity, the British kept a constantly 
strict vigil over this area. They were always mindful of the 
fact that this tract was on a direct route from India to the 
heart of China and formed the line of least resistance 
geographically and ethnically. This was the reason for the 
strong fortification of this area. Here it is pertinent to add 


Emergence of Nagaland 

that in 1962 Free India ignored this vital factor and invited 
trouble and disaster from China. 

In 1852 the Naga areas were constituted into a sub- 
division under the Nowgong district, with Asaloo as its 
headquarters. The Manipuri interests, the threatening pos- 
tures of the Burmese, and the belligerent attitude of the 
powerful tribes who were blocking the path, forced the 
British to shift their headquarters to Samaguting, 10 miles 
up into the Angami territory. This area was formed into a 
new sub-division and called the North-Cachar Hill sub- 
division. This was done in 1870 and was placed under the 
Cachar district. This shifting was to have a very serious 
effect on Naga life. Asaloo was inhabited mainly by the Zimi 
Nagas, called the Aroongs. These Nagas, and the huge area 
they inhabited, were separated from the mainstream of 
Naga life and polity. For the sake of administrative 
convenience, a cleavage was brought about in the Naga 
people. The way in which this was brought about is a story in 
itself. In a note (No. 394, dated 20.10.1865) to the 
Government of Bengal Lt. Col. H. Hompinson, Agent to 
the Governor General, N.E. Frontier and Commissioner of 
Assam, wrote that: "Col. Houghton's opinion after visiting 
Asaloo and examining the Naga Frontier, was that it would 
be of no advantage even if it were practicable to locate an 
officer on the frontier of the Naga country and that no 
compromise was possible, short of asserting our sovereignty 
over the whole of the Naga Tribes not included within 
Manipur or Burma, and gradually to bring them to order." 

On 26 January 1866, H. A. Eden issued orders which read 
as: "The Lt. Governor, therefore, desires entirely to support 
the recommendations contained in paragraphs 30-44 of the 
letter from Col. Hopkinson and proposes to direct Lt. 
Gregory to remove his headquarters from Asaloo to 
Samaguting to abolish Asaloo as Sub-Division. 

Boundary Issue 

Thus, initially the British recognised the traditional bound- 

mgaland-Assam Boundary Issue 


iry between the Ahoms and the Nagas as the political 
boundary. However, after the British had consolidated their 
hold in Assam, and managed to subjugate more and more 
Naga territories, they had to do some re-thinking so as to 
, effectively administer these areas. The need for redefining 
administrative areas became all the more imperative after 

{ !ln OI fu UCtl ° n ° f th£ AsSam Ben § al RaiIwa y in and around 
IByy. Thus, for the sake of administrative convenience 
large portions of Naga territory were transferred to the 
iuljoining districts of Assam in 1898, 1901, 1902-3 and 1923 
With the opening up of a larger number of tea gardens 
within Naga territory, there arose the need to shift the 'Inner 
I me deeper inside Naga Hills to exclude the gardens 
Opened in the Naga Hills district. These gardens could then 
be transferred to the adjoining districts of Assam 
Alexander Mackenzie says: 

The rapid extension of tea cultivation along this frontier 
gave rise to considerable correspondence between 1869 
and 1873. The limit of the revenue jurisdiction of 
Lakhimpore and Sibsagar to the south was, as above 
notified, the old frontier road called the Dhodar Allee and 
Ladoigarh road. Although the Government claimed as 
British territory the whole country up to the boundaries of 
Manipur and Burma, it had hitherto treated the Nagas 
tract as outside Assam for all civil purposes. The tea 
planters had long since in many places, both in Lakhim- 
pore and Sibsagar, taken up lands south of the revenue 
line, in some instances paying revenue to us, and in others 
to the Naga Chiefs. The earlier settlers found it to their 
interest to conciliate the Nagas, and troubled themselves 
little about Government protection. But now the fashion 
claiming police assistance in every little difficulty came 
into vogue, and the Government had to consider what 
course it should adopt. The question acquired prominence 
from a quarrel between a planter and some Changnoi 
Nagas in Lakhimpore early in 1871, which led to serious 
apprehension of Naga raids. 


Emergence of Nagaland 

At length in 1872 the occurrence of a massacre of 
Borlangia Nagas perpetrated by Kamsingias with two 
miles of a tea garden showed that measure for defining 
clearly the limits of Naga territory towards the plains 
could no longer be deferred. Under the provisions of the 
Inner Line Regulation already described, such a boundary 
was accordingly laid down, compensation being paid to 
the Nagas for the area occupied by these tea gardens 
which lay beyond the Inner Line. 

A letter from the Chief Commissioner of Assam to the 
Commissioner of Assam Valley No. 432 Rev. R-3675, dated 
Shillong, the 3rd August, 1898 says: 

At present the greater part of the Rengma, Mikir Hills 
and the whole of the Nambor forest reserve are included 
within the jurisdiction of the Naga Hills district, and this 
arrangement was convenient so long as the headquarters 
of the district were at Samaguting, but it has become very 
embarrassing since the transfer of the headquarters to 
Kohima. Proposals were accordingly made some years 
ago to exclude this territory from the Naga Hills district, 
but they were allowed to remain in abeyance pending the 
extension of the Assam Bengal Railway to this locality. 
The railway is now approaching completion and the 
necessity of exercising large gangs of coolies employed on 
construction works was brought prominently to notice 
during the last cold weather. Encouragement has also 
been offered to the extension of tea cultivation in the 
Mambor Forest along the side of the railway, and if 
practical effort is to be given to this policy, it is necessary 
that this tract of the country should be transferred to 
districts in which the Labour and Emigration Act and 
other laws and regulations affecting labour and the tea 
industry are in force. It is with regard to these considera- 
tions that the proposals which were submitted by Mr 
Davis in 1891 (vide correspondence ending with Mr 

• .ihmd-Assam Boundary Issue 


Wace's letter No. 28118-B, dated the 28th November, 
1X91) have now been renewed by the present Deputy 
Commissioner, Captain Woods, practically without any 

In another letter No. 822 Rv. R-5648, Chief Commission- 
|| of Assam to Commissioner of Assam Valley said: 

lixperience has shown that although these tracts could be 
conveniently administered from Samaguting, it has been 
impossible to exercise an efficient control over them since 
the transfer of the headquarters to Kohima.... At 
present there is work, and important work to be done by 
an Executive Officer along the railway line... 

This proposal would leave jurisdiction over the Assam- 
Bengal Railway line from Lunka via Lumding up to (but 
not including Dimapur in the Nowgong District). It would 
add to Nowgong a further portion of the Mikir Hills and 
large tract of level and undulating plain country.... 
any question connected with the extension of tea cultiva- 
tion could be as easily disposed of from Nowgong as from 
Golaghat." (Letter from Chief Commissioner of Assam 
Valley, No. 432, Rev. R-367, dt. Shillong 3.8.1898). The 
whole of the large reserved Nambor forest would be 
transferred to that Sub-Division, and also the whole area 
of the Rengma Hills, which now lies within the Naga Hills 

....I am of opinion that the boundaries proposed by 
Dr Davis are the best and cannot be improved upon 
taking into consideration the convenience of the people 
who inhabit certain portions of the tracts. In addition to 
the land which Mr. Davis proposed to hand over to 
Sibsagar, with the permission of the Chief Commissioner, 
I now propose to hand over another small portion of land 
belonging to the Ao Sub-Division, which lies in the plain 
and is suitable for tea cultivation .... 

....You will observe that it is further proposed by 


Emergence of Nagaland 

Captain Woods to transfer to the Sibsagar district a small 
tract of country in the Mokokchung Sub-Division, which 
lies in the plains, and is suitable for tea cultivation. The 
Chief Commissioner is of opinion that this should be one. 
(Note of AeWood dated Kohima 13 May, 1898). 

There is no doubt that the Nagas had been agitating for 
the restoration of the areas. The first negotiation by the 
Naga people with the representatives of the then British 
Indian Government was with Sir Akbar Hydari, the then 
Governor of Assam in Kohima on 27th to 29th June, 1947. 

As a result of prolonged discussions, an agreement 
known as the "Nine-Point Agreement" was drawn up. It 
stipulated a modification of the then administrative division 
by restoring all the forests transferred out of Naga Hills and 
bring all the Naga inhabited areas under one unified 
administrative unit. Demand for the restoration of transfer- 
red areas and merger of contiguous Naga areas formed part 
of the "Nine-Point Agreement". This showed that Nagas 
had never compromised with the transfer and occupation of 
their lands by Assam. 

Again, pursuant to the resolution passed by the Naga 
People's Convention in August 1957 in Kohima a 16-Point 
Memorandum was presented to the Prime Minister of India 
in Delhi in 1960 by a delegation of the N.P.C. 

In the course of discussion, the question of creating a 
separate State for Naga areas emerged and under Point 12 of 
the Memorandum, the Nagas demanded the return to 
Nagaland of all the Reserved Forests transferred from the 
Naga Hills to Assam during the British Regime. Under 
Point 13, the Nagas put their demand for the consolidation 
of the contiguous Naga inhabited areas to form a part of the 
new State. 

The Agreement placed on Record was as follows: 
Point 12: 

The Naga delegation discussed the question of the 

^Hgaland-Assam Boundary Issue 


inclusion of the Reserve Forest and of contiguous areas 
inhabited by the Nagas. They were referred to the 
provisions in Articles 3 and 4 of the Constitution 
prescribing the procedure for the transfer of areas from 
one State to another. 

Government of India's Initiative 

Recognising the fact that there was serious border problem 
between Assam and Nagaland, the Ministry of Home 
Affairs, Government of India, appointed an Adviser to the 
I lome Ministry, Mr K.V.K. Sundaram in 1971 to look into 
ind ascertain the facts of the case. Considering the 
seriousness of the problem, the Adviser prevailed upon the 
I wo states to make four Interim Agreements for the 
maintenance of peace in the border areas in 1972. But 
unfortunately, no satisfactory solution was arrived at. As a 
result of it, on 5 January 1979, a serious border clash took 
place resulting in the murder of a large number of non-Naga 
settlers. In the meanwhile, the Government of Nagaland 
and Government of Assam have issued Memoranda defend- 
ing their cases about the border disputes.* 

However, reports indicate that under the directions of the 
late Prime Minister, Shrimati Indira Gandhi, the Chief 
Ministers of Nagaland and Assam had reviewed their stand 
on the boundary issue. It is understood that the two Chief 
Ministers have decided to follow the policy of give and take. 
This policy of mutual give and take is likely to foster 
goodwill on both the sides and ugly events of 1979 will never 
be repeated. 

On 23 May 1964, the late Shri B.P. Chaliha, Chief 
Minister of Assam said at Sakraba in Chakhesang: 

*See at Appendix A and B. 


Emergence of Nagaland 

We are neighbours. If there is peace in Nagaland, there 
will be be peace in my State Assam and vice- versa. Our fate 
is tied together. 

This truth is being realised now with greater vigour and 
sincerity but the recent Merapani* incident has raised some 
apprehensions about the solution to the whole problem. 

According to reports, several police personnel and civilians died in an armed 
clash that took place between the Nagaland and Assam Police at Merapani, a 
border village police checkpost, on the 4th and 5th June 1985. 


A historical stone 
at Khezakenoma 
village sanctifying 
the origin of Naga 

village, the site of 
historical stone 

I I 

f i 

A typical 
Nasa house 

A delegation of Naga People's Convention meeting the Prime Minister, 
Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru, in New Delhi. 

The first Chief Minister of Nagaland, Mr P. Shilu Ao, calling on the 
Prime Minister, Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru, in New Delhi (May 1963) 

A warm welcome to the 
Prime Minister, Pt. 
Jawaharlai Nehru, on his 
first visit to Nagaland 
(30th March, 1953) 

The Prime Minister of 
India, Pt. Nehru, and the 
Prime Minister of Burma, 
U. Nu, being welcomed 
by the Nagas at Kohima 
(30th March, 1953) 

Pt. Jawaharlai Nehru 
and U. Nu with the 
Naga tribal chiefs 


author's first tour to the 
interiors of Nagaland 
-in his capacity 
as a Councillor 
(Yekhum 7th June, 1961) 

A welcome to the 
Philosopher on the 
occasion of the formation 
of the Statehood for 
Nagaland at Kohima 
(1st December, 1963) 

Members of the first Nagaland Legislative Assembly 

Dr. S. Radhakrishnan, President of 
India, formally inaugurating the 
sixteenth State of Union of India 

First Council of Ministers of Nagaland, 
headed by Mr P. Shilu Ao, with the 
President of India, Dr S. Radhakrishnan, 
and the Governor of Nagaland, Mr Vishnu 
Sahay. (The author is standing 1st in the left) 

Church Peace Convention Mission with Rev. Michael Scott 
(28th March, 1964) 

Jayaprakash Narayanat the 
Peace Mission Table 

Shri B.P. Chaliha, another 
stalwart of the Peace Mission 

The Underground Delegation along with the Peace Mission Members 
meeting the Prime Minister, Shrimati Indira Gandhi, in New Delhi,, 
(18th February, 1966) 

The Prime Minister, Shrimati Indira Gandhi, holding one of the six 
rounds of Peace talks with the Underground delegation and 
Peace Mission leaders in New Delhi 

nthusiastic crowd cheering up the Prime Minister, 
Shrimati Indira Gandhi 

Chapter 5 

Naga Hills District 

The ruthless suppression of all Naga attempts to preserve 
their independent existence was accompanied by a gradual 
annexation of Naga land by the British. Through subtle 
means like sending in survey parties, acting as overlords m 
inter-tribal affairs, and bv establishing well defined bound- 
aries, the British set about the task of consolidating their 
position in this area. In 1866 the Naga hills area had been 
formed into a separate district under a Lieutenant Gov- 
ernorship. At first its Headquarters were situated at 
Samaguting and later they were shifted to Kohima in 1878. 

Among the other changes that were brought about was 
the inclusion, in 1874, of the Naga Hills district into the new 
Chief Commissionership of Assam. This year Assam had 
just been separated from Bengal and constituted into a Chief 
Commissionership. The same year the Naga Hills district 
was declared a 'Scheduled District' under the Scheduled 
Districts Act, 1874. Under this declaration the Naga Hills 
district was excluded from the general operation of laws 
prevailing through the rest of British India, and now it could 
be administered as a non-regulation district. The ostensible 
purpose was to implement special plans for its development 
and for preservation of its customs and culture. In fact it was 
a part of the 'divide and rule' policy of the British. 

The High Court at Calcutta had a very restricted and 
limited jurisdiction over this district. It was confined to such 
criminal cases in which European British subjects were 


Emergence of Nagaland 

involved. The codes of civil and criminal procedures were 
also not applicable to this area. The powers of life and death 
were exercised by the District Commissioner subject to 
confirmation by the Chief Commissioner. The Deputy 
Commissioner, during his tours, settled the disputes be- 
tween tribes and generally supervised the area with a view to 
advising the government regarding the administrative policy 
to be formulated and followed. 

Generally speaking, however, the policy of the Govern- 
ment was to interfere as little as possible with the local 
customs of the people. Land revenue was not assessed but a 
uniform tax at the rate of Rs 3 per house was levied on the 
Angami Nagas. From the other Nagas the rate was Rs 2 in 
lieu of land revenue. This difference in tax was due to the 
fact that whereas the Angami Nagas had permanent terraced 
cultivation, the other Nagas had shifting cultivation. 

The Government's policy of non-interference had many 
implications. On the one hand the Government desisted 
from interfering in the local customs, rituals, and way of life. 
On the other hand, this policy also prevented any program- 
mes of development from being formulated or implemented. 
For example, there were no high schools in the Naga Hills 
district and little or no emphasis was being given to the 
important sphere of education. The census of 1901 showed 
that only 1.37% of the people were literate {Imperial 
Gazetteer of India, Vol. XVIII, pp. 284-295). Thus, while 
the Government was eager to hold sway over the Naga 
tribes, yet it was least concerned about the economic, social 
or political upliftment of the people, even though such a 
concern could solve many of the problems which the 
Government faced from the Naga tribes. 

The Government's desire to extend its administrative 
control was again obvious in 1875 when a sub-division was 
opened at Wokha in order to exercise control over the Lotha 
Nagas. To spread its administrative control over the Eastern 
Nagas and also to be able to reach the Patkai ranges through 
the Naga Hills, the new Mokokchung sub-division was set up 

I -mergence of Nagaland 


in 1890. A.W. Davis, ICS, was appointed as the first 
sub-divisional officer. 

Administratively, the Government found it convenient to 
attach the Naga Hills to the province of Assam. In 1905 
when Assam and East Bengal were formed into separate 
Lieutenant Governorship, the Naga Hills continued to be a 
part of the Assam province. Again in 1912 Assam was 
reconstituted. Now it was placed under a Chief Commission- 
er. The Naga Hills continued to remain as a district under 
this Chief Commissionership and they also retained their 
status as a Scheduled District. Then again in 1919 the 
Government of India Act, 1919 came into being. Assam was 
now reconstituted as Governorship. The Naga Hills con- 
tinued to be a part of this Governorship. The only change now 
was that theNaga Hills were declared to ba a 'Backward 
tract' within the province of Assam and under the Govern- 
ment of India Act, 1919. Under Section 52(A)(2) of this 
Act, the Governor-General of India could decree that any 
Act passed by the Indian Legislature would not be appli- 
cable to the Naga Hills district. Alternatively, any such Act 
would be applied only after being subject to such qualifica- 
tions and modifications as might be prescribed. The 
Governor-General could also empower the local Governor 
to give similar directions in respect of the Acts passed by the 
local legislature. Further, the power of the Governor- 
General in Council to legislate for the Naga Hills district by 
Regulation (Under Section 71 of the Government of India 
Act, 1915) also continued. 

Excluded Area 

The next change in the position of the Naga Hills district 
came on 3 March, 1936, with the promulgation of the 
Government of India (Excluded and Partially Excluded 
Areas) Order, 1936. Under the provisions of this order, the 
Naga Hills district was declared as an 'Excluded Area' 
within the province of Assam. Although the Naga Hills were 


Emergence of Nagaland 

declared to be an excluded area, yet the executive authority 
of the province of Assam extended to these hills. This was 
under section 92 of the Government of India Act, 1935. 
Thus the Governor had the discretion to exercise the 
functions of his office in all matters relating to the hills 
district. The Governor, under the same section (para 2) 
could make and enforce regulations for the peaceful and 
proper governance of the hills district. Further, no Act of 
the Federal or the Provincial Legislature could apply to the 
Naga Hills district unless the Governor directed this through 
a public notification. 

Thus, the constitutional position of the Naga Hills district, 
which comprised the present Chakhesang, Wokha, Zunhe- 
boto, Kohima and the Mokokchung districts, until the 15th 
of August, 1947, was that of a regular district within the 
province of Assam. In 1974, the State was further re- 
organised into seven districts by dividing (1) Kohima into 
Kohima and Phek, (2) Mokokchung into Mokokchung, 
Wokha and Zunheboto, and (3) Tuensang into Tuensang and 
Mon. It is amply clear that the inexorable processes of 
history had ensured the Naga Hills district an integral place 
within the erstwhile British India. 

Controlled and Un-controlled Areas 

These historical and geographical compulsions can further 
be revealed in the other administrative measures taken in 
this area. The Naga Tribal Area, as it was known prior to 
1947, lay between the regular Naga Hills district of the 
province of Assam and Burma. Sir Andrew Clow, a former 
Governor of Assam gave a Memorandum to the Govern- 
ment of India regarding the importance of a responsible 
attitude towards the Naga Tribal area. This Memorandum, 
which was published in 1945 by the Assam Government. 
Press, states inter-alia: "The Naga Hills Tribal Area is the 
only statutory tribal area in Assam at the moment. It is the 
responsibility of the Central Government, which acts 

I {mergence of Nagaland 


through the Provincial Government, as its agent." The Naga 
Tribal Area, for the purposes of effective administration, 
was divided into 'controlled' and 'uncontrolled' areas. The 
'uncontrolled' areas were left unadministered mainly for 
two reasons. Firstly, these areas were largely inaccessible to 
the British and therefore, from the point of view of strategy 
or economic importance, the British considered these areas 
as effort-wasting areas. Secondly, the British wanted to keep 
these areas insulated from the influences of the plains. 
However, the area of 'control' continued to be extended so 
that the 'un-controlled' areas gradually dwindled in size. The 
Government of India, in pursuance of the proposals of the 
Government of Assam, through their letter of January 30, 
1937, sanctioned the extension of the controlled area so as to 
include Pangsha, Sanglao, Noklak, and other Kalu-Kengnyu 
(Khimungan) villages with effect from January 1938. 

The administrative responsibility for the 'controlled' areas 
of the Naga Tribal Area was vested in the Sub-Divisional 
Officer at Mokokchung. This officer was also responsible for 
seeing that the 'uncontrolled' areas remained insulated from 
the 'controlled' ones. He had to ensure that the inhabitants 
of the 'uncontrolled' areas remained within their limits; and 
in case they transgressed their boundaries, or misbehaved in 
any other manner, due penalties were to be imposed upon 
them. By 1947 the limits of the 'controlled' area were 
practically co-extensive with the whole of the Naga Tribal 
Area. Its boundaries now coincided with the boundaries of 
Assam and Burma. The administrative powers and functions 
of the Governor of Assam vis-a-vis the Naga Tribal Areas 
were prescribed in the Notification No. I-X, dated 1 April 
1937. These were incorporated in Vol. V of the Supplement 
to the General Statutory Rules and Orders of the Enact- 
ments of British India. This notification reads as follows: 

In exercise of the power conferred by Sub-Section (I) of 
Section 123, read with sub-section (3) of Section 313, of 
the Government of India Act, 1935, the Governor- 


Emergence of Nagaland 

General in Council is pleased to direct the Governor of 
Assam to discharge, as his agent, in and in relation to the 
tribal areas beyond the external boundaries of the 
province of Assam, all functions hitherto discharged in 
and in relation to the said area by the said Governor, as 
Agent to the Governor-General, in respect of the political 
control of the trans-border tribes, the administration of 
the said areas and the administration of the Assam Rifles 
and other armed civil forces. 

Thus it was found expedient and necessary by the 
Government of India to vest the administration of the Naga 
Tribal Areas with the Governor of Assam. The Governor of 
Assam exercised his administrative control over this Area 
with the help of the Assam Rifles, a para- military force, and 
other armed civil forces which were stationed and function- 
ing in this tribal area. Thus the form of administration in this 
district was unlike that in other regular districts in the rest of 
India. This was due, not only to the difficult geographical 
conditions of the area, but also to the specific nature of the 
Naga tribes inhabiting this area. 

Naga Hills: Integral Part of Indian Dominion 

India became a Dominion, by virtue of the Indian Independ- 
ence Act, 1947, passed by the British Parliament. In this 
context it is significant to note Section 2(1) of this Act. It 
provided that all the territories of British India which were 
under the sovereignty of His Majesty, except such territories 
which were designated as 'Pakistan', would on the appointed 
day, become the territories of India. As these administrative 
units had all along been an integral part of British India, 
therefore, the Naga Hills district, under the provisions of the 
Indian Independence Act, 1947, became an integral part of 
the Dominion of India. 

Here it would be pertinent to add that even under Section 
311 of the Government of India Act, 1935, the Naga Tribal 

/ mergence of Nagaland 


Area was a part of India. It was then administered under 
lection 123 of the Government of India Act. This area is the 
. xisting Tuensang area. With the enactment of Indian 
Independence Act, 1947, the rights, powers, and obligations 
<>i His Majesty with regard to the tribal areas, were passed 
Oil to the Dominion of India, under Section 7(1 )(c) of the 
Indian Independence Act, 1947. It emphasises the historical, 
political, administrative, and constitutional bonds of the 
Indian Union and the Naga people. This is further 
clarified when we cast a glance at the process of the course of 
Western dominance over Asia. It was a gradual process 
which was undertaken by the British in several stages. At 
different times and in different ways, the British conquered 
and subjugated different parts of the Indian subcontinent. 
Their modus operandi varied from place to place, and often 
it depended upon the specific nature of the ethnic group, 
political system, or religious beliefs. Of course, there was no 
dearth of such groups, systems and beliefs in the sub- 
continent, and the Nagas were one such unit in this diversity. 
Thus their subjugation was no different from that of other 
areas and groups of the Indian subcontinent. 

However, the strong current of Nationalism, which had 
knitted together the multi-coloured diversity of India, came 
to the fore when the struggle for independence began. From 
1920, under the aegis of the Indian National Congress, and 
the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi, the diverse and varied 
people of India representing different linguistic, cultural, 
ethnic and religious groups, came together in a show of 
solidarity and unity to fight against the foreign colonial 
power. Thus the subliminal bond of fundamental unity 
flowered into a powerful consciousness of nationhood. 

Though this common struggle against colonial subjugation 
welded the people of the Indian subcontinent together, yet 
there were some groups whose involvement in the move- 
ment was peripheral and not direct. The Nagas were one of 
these groups. This was due not only to the peculiar 
geographical conditions of the Nagas, but also due to the 


Emergence of Nagaland 

fact that the British had studiously kept the Naga people 
secluded from the mainstream of India. 

Naga Club 

In the meantime a movement was taking roots in Kohima. 
This movement was started by the Nagas who had returned 
from France after World War I. During World War 1, a 
Naga labour force went to France to support the allies. This 
force consisted of 1,000 Semas, 400 Lothas, 200 Aos, 200 
Rangmas, and a large number of smaller groups. This trip to 
France and back shattered many of the illusions that the 
Nagas had about the superiority of other races, particularly 
the whites. On their way to France their ship met with an 
accident. While the Nagas, with their customary fortitude 
and equanimity, took this accident casually in their stride, 
on the other hand, hundreds of others, including the British, 
the Chinese, and the Ceylonese, were badly shaken. In 
France, the Nagas were used as a labour force for carrying 
loads and building roads. They were not used for the 
purposes of fighting. However, the experiences of these 
Nagas in France shattered their illusion of the British 
prowess. On their return to their homeland, these Nagas 
decided to form a Naga association, which was called Naga 
Club. This Club sought to solve the problems of the Naga 
people with the British through talks and consultations 
across the table. In the beginning this Club consisted of old 
soldiers, government officials, and Dobashis. Apart from 
their political activities, this Club also ran cooperative stores 
in Mokokchung and Kohima. They also formed a football 
club which inculcated great love for this game among the 
people and produced many players of great renown. Notable 
among them being the National Captain Dr T. Ao (1948). 

Among the challenging and demanding tasks facing 
Indian statesmanship was to infuse a stronger sense of 
participation and involvement in the freedom struggle in the 
groups and tribes of the North-East. For years these tribes 

I mergence of Nagaland 


had remained insulated, isolated and backward. During the 
mnish regime their participation in the full citizenship had 
been retarded or ignored for various reasons. Now was the 
lime for the Indian Leadership to give these people their 
rightful, complete, and integrated place in the historic 
processes that were shaping out a new destiny for the people 
«>l this great subcontinent. Now was the time to realise that 
the non-involvement of any group in India's tryst with 
ik'stiny would have the horrible consequences of regression 
;md withdrawal symptoms. This realisation remained dor- 
mant during this crucial period due to the pressures of quick 
moving events. 

Attitude of the British 

During the last years of the British rule, when it became 
quite clear that they would have to leave soon, the British 
revealed a compulsive show of sympathy for these tribes. 
They began showing great concern, anxiety and solicitude 
for the backwardness and the isolation of the Nagas. It was 
conveniently forgotten that this situation of the Nagas was 
the express creation of the British themselves. 

When the independence of India became a concrete 
reality, the British officers in India began to pursue the 
above line of isolation and segregation, even more vigorous- 
ly. They proposed, in various forms and ways, that the 
British administration should continue in the hill areas. They 
even envisaged a merging together of the tribals of the Assam 
area and the tribals living in Burma in order to form a 'Crown 
Colony'. The proponents of this 'Crown Colony' idea used 
the age-old emotional leverage of their 'moral obligation' 
towards the protection and welfare of tribals. This proposal, 
however, was not accepted by the authorities in England.' 
This did not dampen the spirits of the Britishers advocating 
separatism in India. They then proposed that the tribals be 
formed into a separate State or some extra-Constitutional 
arrangement be included in the treaty of Independence of 


Emergence of Nagaland 

India for the protection of these 'backward' people. 

Lord Wavell, the then Viceroy, effectively discouraged all 
such ideas. His view was that the Provincial Government 
should retain their administrative responsibility, and that the 
Central Government might give grants, undertake inspec- 
tions, and receive periodic reports. Lord Patrick-Lawrence, 
the then Secretary of State for India, accepted these views of 
Lord Wavell. It was also realised that the attempt of the 
Indian Government to consolidate their country would be 
quite different from that of the alien rulers. One strong 
nation, united, secular, and democratic, would ensure a 
better deal for the tribals. Enlightened leaders like Nehru, 
Patel, and above all Gandhi, would assure a bright future for 
all sections of the Indian people. 

The impression of a separate 'Crown Colony' was, in fact, 
becoming so strong that the Government of India found it 
necessary to issue a press note to counteract this impression. 
This Press Note said: 

The attention of the Government of India has been drawn 
to allegations that schemes are under consideration for the 
separation of the Assam hill areas from India and their 
constitution into a separate Colony or State. There is no 
truth in these allegations and no such scheme is being 
considered. Nor is there any intention, at present, to 
create a new Hill Province. The creation of a new 
province would require Parliamentary legislation and no 
such proposal would be considered prior to the convening 
of the Constituent Assembly. 

Later the officers of India and Burma met and decided 
that the hill areas of Assam should continue to be 
administered by the Governor of Assam, but subject to 
some separate provisions in respect of both the legislative 
and executive functions. Further, it was decided that the 
tribal system of local self-government was to remain as the 
basis of governance and would be extended by the formation 
of Tribal Councils etc. 

/ mergence of Nagaland 


When Sir Andrew Clow, Governor of Assam, visited 
Mokokchung in January 1947, he met the leaders of all the 
noithern Naga tribes and made it a point to explain the 
Doming constitutional changes to them. It is interesting to 
noIe the words in which he presented the case: "The British 
Raj is being withdrawn shortly, and the future Government 
Of India, including Assam and its hills, will be a matter for 
the peoples of the land to decide. The Constituent Assem- 
bly, which is charged with working out the plans for the 
I ut me, has already started its work in Delhi, and it will have 
to consider, in due course, the position of the hill peoples. 
They should, therefore, themselves be thinking over the 
i|iiestion and form their own conclusions regarding what 
l hey want. It is not practicable for the Naga tribes or even 
I lie Nagas as a whole to set themselves in a separate State or 
states (as some of them want) or even as a (separate) 
province of India. If they did they would always remain poor 
and backward and could not supply even the inadequate 
services they already enjoy. They would, therefore, be well 
advised to seek to form part of the province, but to retain 
matters of local concern in their own hands. Even in the 
plains, many matters of local concern are run by the people 
of the district concerned, and here, where their custom and 
culture differ so much from those of the plains, they could 
reasonably'claim a larger sphere for local authority, includ- 
ing control of their own land and conservation of such 
authority as is traditionally theirs." 

They should approach the question not only from the 
point of view of what they can get, but of what they can 
give. The hill peoples of Assam have a very full 
understanding of the idea of democracy, fuller indeed 
than that prevailing in some other parts of India, and they 
will, as education is developed, be able to take a share, 
not only in the Government of their own hills, but of the 
province, and it is hoped, of India as a whole. 


Emergence of Nagaland 

All this, of course, was said by Sir Andrew Clow with the 
concurrence of the Viceroy. The Naga leaders were also told 
that in the absence of their representation on the Consti- 
tuent Assembly, they would be given an opportunity to meet 
the Advisory Committee of the Constituent Assembly. This 
would enable them to present their views before the 

Naga National Council 

A new direction in the turbulent political conditions during 
the Quit India Movement in 1942 was given by the Naga 
Club. Under this change it was formed into the Naga 
National Council. The ostensible purpose of this Council 
was to foster and nurture the welfare of the Naga people. 
However, there were strong political under-currents in this 
Council, which subsequently turned into a political organisa- 

This Naga National Council submitted a four-point 
memorandum to the Cabinet Mission. These points were: 

1. This Naga National Council stands for the solidarity of 
all Naga tribes, including those in the unadministered 

2. This Council strongly protests against the grouping of 
Assam with Bengal (This resentment was due to the 
fear that this might lead to their lot being cast with 
Pakistan under the proposed Zonal system of group- 

3. The Naga Hills should be constitutionally included in 
an autonomous Assam, in a free India, with local 
autonomy and due safeguards for the interest of the 

4. The Naga tribes should have a separate electorate. 

T. Sakhrie, who was one of the ablest and most trusted of 
Nagas, and also held the position of the Secretary of the 
Naga National Council, signed this memorandum. It is an 
unfortunate measure of Sakhrie's intense nationalism that he 
was allegedly murdered by Phizo's followers in January 1956 

/ mergence of Nagaland 


because he became a stumbling block in the path of Phizo's 
m inception of independence and his views on the use of 
v iolence to achieve political ends. 

Nehru's Concern for the Tribals 

When Jawaharlal Nehru took over the reins as India's Prime 
Minister, he was one person who had given serious thought 
i<» the problems of the tribals in India. However, he was not 
f.oing to push through any changes in the tribals by the use of 
lorce, directly or indirectly. In one of his speeches, 
lawaharlal Nehru, while thinking aloud, said: "I am alarmed 
when I see not only in this country but in other great 
countries too how anxious people are to shape others 
according to their own image or likeness, and to impose on 
them their particular way of living. We are welcome to our 
way of living, but why impose it on others? This applies 
equally to national and international fields. In fact, there 
would be more peace in the world if people were to desist 
from imposing their way of living on other people and coun- 
Iries. I am not at all sure which is better way of living, the 
tribal or our own. In some respects I am quite certain theirs 
is better. Therefore, it is grossly presumptuous on our part 
to approach them with an air of superiority, to tell them how 
to behave or what to do and what not to do. There is no 
point in trying to make them a second rate copy of ourselves . ' ' 

Elsewhere, Pandit Nehru lays down something of a 
charter for the tribal people and the tribal areas. 

These avenues of development should, however, be 
pursued within the broad framework of the following five 
fundamental principles: 

1. People should develop along the lines of their own 
genius and we should avoid imposing anything on 
them. We should try to encourage in every way their 
own traditional arts and culture. 

2. Tribal rights in land and forests should be respected. 


Emergence of Nagaland 

3. We should try to train and build up a team of their own 
people to do the work of administration and develop- 
ment. Some technical personnel from outside will, no 
doubt, be needed especially in the beginning. But we 
should avoid introducing too many outsiders into tribal 

4. We should not over-administer these areas or over- 
whelm them with a multiplicity of schemes. We should 
rather work through, and not in rivalry to, their own 
social and cultural institutions. 

5. We should judge results, not by statistics or the amount 
of money spent, but by the quality of human character 
that is evolved. 

Later, in 1962 there were arguments on the name 
'Nagaland'. Someone objected to this name saying that it 
sounded very much like "Thailand". Nehru's answer to this 
objection was: "If the Thais can have a 'Thailand', why 
should the Nagas not have a 'Nagaland'? They want it. Let 
them have it." 

The solicitous concern of Pandit Nehru for the Naga 
people was again in evidence in February 1947. The Naga 
National Council in a memorandum expressed more or less 
the same views as they had done in their four-point 
memorandum of June 1946. Jawaharlal Nehru sent Sir 
Akbar Hydari, the Governor of Assam, to discuss the 
matter with the Naga leaders. The Governor assured the 
Nagas that the successor Indian Government had no sinister 
designs on the Naga people. The Naga people, he said, 
would be treated like any other people of the rest of India. 
What was more, special efforts would be made to safeguard - 
the Nagas from exploitation from outside and also provide 
them with full opportunities for development along their 
own particular way of life and genius. 

Nine-Point Memorandum 

The policy of the Government of India was to allow 

/ mergence of Nagaland 


maximum autonomy to the Naga people; as much as could 
be consistent with the integrity of the country's frontiers. To 
iliis end, a nine-point memorandum, presented by Naga 
National Council was accepted by the Governor, and later 
the Chief Minister of Assam, after consultation with the 
Naga leaders. These proposals also included some adminis- 
trative measures to be taken, and were duly ready in June 
1 947 for presentation to Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. Jawaharlal 
Nehru readily accepted this memorandum. 

This memorandum, or agreement, began by saying that 
the "right of the Nagas to develop themselves according to 
their freely expressed wishes is recognised." The first two 
provisions then related to judicial and executive matters. 
These provisions stipulated that all cases, whether civil or 
criminal, arising between Nagas in the Naga Hills, were to 
be disposed of by duly constituted Naga courts. These cases 
were to be tried according to Naga custom and law, or such 
law as would be introduced, "with the consent of the duly 
recognised Naga representative organisations. There was to 
be a right to appeal to the Governor, where the sentence was 
transportation or death." While the district officers were to 
be appointed at the discretion of the Governor, the 
sub-divisions of the Naga hills were to be administrated by 
sub-divisional councils with full-time executive presidents, 
paid for by the Naga National Council. With regard to 
agriculture, the Naga National Council was to exercise all 
the powers hitherto vested in the district officers. The Naga 
National Council was to take full control of the PWD, and 
the council was prepared to pay for all the services of staff of 
the Education and the Forest Department. As is very 
apparent from the provisions of the nine-point agreement, 
the envisaged structure of administration was neither very 
complicated nor too sophisticated. 

In order to further preserve and protect the entity and 
individuality of the Naga people, certain provisions were 
laid down in the legislative portion of the Agreement. These 
provisions stipulated that any law, passed by the provincial 


Emergence of Nagaland 

or the central legislature, which materially affected the 
religious beliefs and social practices of the Nagas, would 
require the consent of the Naga National Council before 
becoming a law. Any dispute regarding the question 
whether any law did affect the agreement would be referred 
to the Governor, and no such law would be enforced till the 
decision of the Central Government was obtained. 

The natural habitat of the Naga people was also sought to 
be protected from outside interference. The Agreement said 
that "land with all its resources" was not to be alienated to 
non-Naga people without the consent of the Naga National 
Council. Further, it was made the duty of the Naga National 
Council to impose, collect and make a proper expenditure of 
"land revenue, house tax, and such other taxes, as may be 
imposed by the Naga National Council." 

Regarding the boundaries of the area, this Agreement 
contained important provisions. It was envisaged that the 
boundaries of the existing administrative divisions were to 
be modified so as to bring back into the Naga Hills district all 
the forests transferred to the Sibsagar and Nowgong district 
in the past. All these were to be brought under one unified 
administrative unit as far as possible. 

Regarding the boundaries of the district, the Naga 
National Council added an annexure to the agreement. In 
this annexure they laid claim to a number of tea gardens and 
forest reserves in Assam. The annexure, after making 
reference to the historical situation of the district, says that 
the ancient boundaries with the Ahom Kingdom, which ran 
from the Dikhu river in the vicinity of Naganimara and 
Nakachari, should be restored. The Government had 
accepted, in principle, that the boundaries should be 
modified by saying: "The present administrative divisions 
should be modified." 

There were also two minor provisions pertaining to the 
continuance of the Indian Arms Act and the Chin Hill 
Regulations, as also to the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regula- 
tions. The last provision generated a lot of debate in the 

I mergence of Nagaland 


years to come and came to be known as the Ninth Point. 
I Ins provision said that for a period of ten years the 
( lovernor of Assam, as the Agent of the Government of 
India, would ensure the observance of this Agreement. At 
the end of this period of ten years, the Naga National 
Council will be asked whether they required the above 
Agreement to be extended for a further period, or a new 
iigreement regarding the future of the Naga people be 
arrived at. 

The intentions of Governor Hydari Ali and Prime 
Minister Nehru, who had blessed and accepted this Agree- 
ment, obviously was that after a period of ten years the 
Nagas would be free to choose for themselves the precise 
pattern of administration, within the Constitution of India, 
which was still to be formulated. The Constitution was to 
give shape to the Naga demands in this Agreement or 
Memorandum so that the Nagas could decide for themselves 
vital questions concerning the mode of their functioning 
within the Indian Union. They could decide, for example, 
whether they would join the district of the plains of Assam 
or unite with other contagious areas such as Manipur. 
However, the provisions of the Ninth Point created great 
confusion. The Naga extremists claimed that the provision 
of the Ninth Point gave to them the right to even secede 
from India and to establish for themselves a sovereign 
Independent State. 

All the safeguards provided for the Naga people in the 
Nine-Point Agreement have been incorporated in the 
Constitution of India as the Sixth Schedule. This Sixth 
Schedule was arrived at by a Committee of the Constituent 
Assembly. This Committee was headed by the Premier of 
Assam G.N. Bardoloi, and its co-opted members consisted 
of important tribal representatives of the Naga people. This 
Committee toured the North-Eastern tribal area extensively 
and on the basis of their observations and discussions 
formulated the document which was to become the basis of 
the Sixth Schedule. While all Naga demands contained in 


Emergence of Nagaland 

the Nine-Point Agreement were included in this Schedule, 
yet the confusion created by the conflicting interpretation 
of the Ninth Point of the Hydari Agreement continued to 
exercise and agitate the minds of the Nagas. 


The confusion regarding the Ninth Point afforded an 
opportunity to Phizo, who was just emerging as a new 
leader, to further his own leadership designs. ^He began to 
make emotional appeals to the masses to seize power, 
because, according to him, the Government of India had 
gone back on the Nine-Point Agreement. The politics of 
grievance and consequently to that of confrontation, be- 
came the hallmark of the extremist. In order to involve the 
masses, rational and logical situations were emotionalised by 
presenting an image of a hurt or insulted pride of the group. 

In order to allay these apprehensions, the Governor of 
Assam and the Chief Minister of Assam addressed a 
communication to a deputation of Naga leaders who had 
met them in June 1948. This communication said: 

A deputation of Naga gentlemen have come to Shillong to 
receive a written assurance from H.E. the Governor of 
Assam and the Hon'ble Premier, Assam, to the effect 
that the agreement reached between His Excellency and 
the Naga leaders in June 1947, will be implemented. The 
deputation was given the assurance by both that there was 
never any question of non-implementation of the agree- 
ment. A misunderstanding has appeared to have arisen in 
the minds of a certain section of the Naga people that the 
agreement of June 1947 was nullified by the provisions 
laid down in the Draft Constitution. It was explained to 
the deputation at length that the Draft Constitution was in 
no way inconsistent with the agreement. On the contrary, 
it prescribed the machinery whereby the agreement might 
be translated into action. If, however, there still remained 

/ mergence of Nagaland 91 

any doubt or apprehension in the minds of the Naga 
people regarding the validity of the agreement, H.E. and 
I he Hon'ble Premier were prepared to give written 
assurance that has been asked for. They have been 
pleased to do so, accordingly, and both have appended 
their signatures on this document as a token of the 
assurance they have been asked to give. 

The above statement would have become all the more 
meaningful and substantive had it been followed by some 
concrete steps to remove the suspicions of the Naga leaders 
icgarding the Sixth Schedule. However, immediately after 
I lie attainment of independence, the grim aftermath of the 
Partition, followed by Pakistan's invasion of Kashmir, 
created problems of such magnitude that the suspicions of 
the people of this small, remote area obviously took a 
secondary place. This unfortunate lapse was to have serious 
consequences, some of which were apparent during Jawa- 
harlal Nehru's tour of Kohima in 1953. Pandit Nehru 
personally assured the Nagas that the Government of India 
had consistently followed a liberal policy, and that any 
defects in the Sixth Schedule could be rectified and its 
provisions modified so as to bring about the maximum 
autonomy. Yet, by now, the cankerous weed of suspicion 
had taken deep root, and the Nagas remained unconvinced. 
To aggravate the problem, Naga representatives were not 
allowed to approach Nehru in order to hand over a 
memorandum. The Nagas were used to an easy access to the 
administration and this refusal by some nervous and 
over-wrought officials added fuel to fire. The result was that 
the entire non-official audience left the meeting ground in 
protest. Thus, a woeful lack of appreciation and understand- 
ing of the Naga mind compounded by the arrogant be- 
haviour of the local officers deepened the political deadlock. 

To begin with, and till 1953-54, this political non- 
communication and lack of positive interaction, was non- 
violent in nature'. The absence of a common wavelength 


Emergence of Nagaland 

gave further impetus to the politics of grievance and the 
symptoms of withdrawal. By now the extremist leader, A.Z. 
Phizo, had achieved a position of almost unchallenged 
supremacy among his colleagues. His strong emphasis on 
Naga rights and aspirations, coupled to his intense projec- 
tion of a hurt Naga psyche, won him many followers. The 
Nagas led by Phizo began to express their dissatisfaction 
with the Sixth Schedule in very strong terms. They boycot- 
ted not only the District Council Elections in 1951, but also 
the subsequent General Elections in 1952. To keep the 
record straight it must be mentioned that not a single vote 
was cast. 

The Underground 

As the agitation gained momentum, the Nagas resorted to 
Civil disobedience, taking their cue from the pre- 
independence Indian politics. However, as soon as it 
became very apparent to the Naga National Council that the 
Government had no intentions of considering their demand 
for 'independence', the agitation acquired the ugly hue of 
violence. By 1954 armed violence, murder, arson, looting, 
and kidnapping, had become quite common and wide- 
spread. In March 1956, the hostile Nagas established a 'Naga 
Federal Government'. They also hoisted their flag at the 
Pheninsyu village, in the Rengma area. A Constitution was 
also drawn up. It envisaged a parliament of 100 Tatars 
(members of Parliament) and a Kedahge (President) with a 
Cabinet of 15 Kilonsers (Ministers). In addition to this, 
Governors of various tribal areas, Magistrates, Deputy. 
Commissioners and other officials were appointed, after the 
manner of the new administrative setup. 

The Naga Home Guards formed themselves into an army. 
They began using the badges of rank, uniforms and 
terminology of the Indian Army. Apart from this army, or 
rather in addition to it, the Naga hostiles, by 1956, had built 
up a guerilla force of about 3000 men. Now they intensified 

| mergence of Nagdland 93 

their campaign of terrorism. The villagers, for one reason or 
1 Ik- other, cooperated with them and provided them with 
money, rice, and other essential supplies, without which 
they could not have thrived the way they did. The increasing 
terrorist activity forced the Indian Government to call in the 
Army. The Army was however instructed to function strictly 
us an aid to the civil power. They were ordered to use the 
minimum possible force and to provide the maximum 
possible protection to the peaceful villagers. In spite of the 
presence of the Army, the activities of the terrorists 
continued unabated. They could easily collect information 
;ibout the movement of the troops and could attack them at 
a. place and time of their choice. When the terrorists were 
hard-pressed by the Army, they had the advantage of being 
able to merge with the villagers and lose themselves among 
them. The villagers hardly ever betrayed the terrorists. This 
could be because the villagers were afraid of the terrorists 
but the fact also remains that there was hardly any love lost 
between the villagers and the armed forces. 

Ultimately it was the villagers who, speaking metaphor- 
ically, were caught in the cross-fire between the hostile 
Nagas and the armed forces. The villagers were the real 
victims of the Naga hostilities as well as the army action. The 
saner element among the leadership, especially the elders, 
began to realise and also propagate the futility of the 
campaign of violence. Some of the rebel leaders, who had 
never reconciled to Phizo's violent ways, resigned from the 
Naga National Council in 1955. They were Shri T. Sakhrie, 
Shri J.B. Jasokie, Shri T.N. Angami etc. T. Sakhrie paid for 
the strength of his conviction with his life at the hands of the 

Peace Efforts 

Deeply pained at the ugly consequences of the growing grim 
violence, some liberal leaders, village elders, took the lead 
to bring about an end to this conflict. They sought to achieve 


Emergence of Nagaland 

a satisfactory solution to the Naga problems through 
peaceful negotiations . The result of this was that a maj or thrust 
towards peace was initiated. One manifestation of this thrust 
towards peace was the formation of the All Tribes Naga 
Peoples Convention. This Convention comprised delegates 
and representatives of all the Naga tribes of the erstwhile 
Naga Hills-the Tuensang area-which today is the state of 
Nagaland. The All Tribes Naga Peoples Convention held 
three meetings. These meetings were very well attended and 
even though the hardcore hostile Nagas had officially 
boycotted these meetings, many of their observers were seen 
attending these. 

The first meeting was held in August 1957 at Kohima. In 
this meeting over 2200 people were present. The main 
resolutions passed were the demands for (i) a satisfactory 
political settlement and solution of the Naga problem within 
the Union of India, and (ii) the constitution of a single 
administrative unit of the Naga Hills district of Assam and 
the Tuensang Frontier Division of the North East Frontier 
Agency, under the Ministry of External Affairs. 

The second meeting was held a't Ungma in May 1958. This 
meeting went a step further than the first one and appointed 
a liaison committee. This committee was given the agenda of 
trying to contact the underground Nagas and to win over 
their support for the Naga Peoples Convention. This move, 
though very laudatory in its intentions, failed to achieve any 
success. The underground Nagas insisted that the only basis 
of any negotiation was the recognition of the 'Naga Federal 
Government' and the acceptance of their demand for 
'independence'. The Convention leaders, having reached an 
impasse with the underground Nagas, decided to go ahead 
with the appointment of a Drafting Committee, which would 
then formulate their demands. 

The third meeting, which was held at Mokokchung in 
October 1959, made further headway. This meeting was an 
even greater success in terms of sheer numbers when over 
3000 representatives and individuals attended this conven- 

I mergence of Nagaland 


lion. During this meeting a 16-point memorandum was 
drawn up which envisaged the constitution of a separate 
i. iie-called Nagaland-within the Indian Union. This state 
would be under the Ministry of External Affairs, have its 
( lovernor. Council of Ministers, Legislative Assembly, and 
.m administrative secretariat. This memorandum was for- 
mally handed over to the Governor of Assam in Shillong in 
, April 1960. In July 1960, a delegation of the Naga Peoples 
Convention met the Prime Minister at Delhi. As a result of 
l his meeting the Government of India agreed to the demand 
lor a separate State within the Indian Union. 

According to the 16-Point Agreement of July 1960, there 
would be a three-year transitional period before the forma- 
tion of a State of Nagaland. During this period representa- 
tives would be elected from every tribe in Nagaland. These 
representatives would form an Interim Body which would 
assist and advise the Governor in the administration of 
Nagaland. Under the promulgation of Nagaland (Tran- 
sitional Provisions) Regulations 1961, this Interim Body was 
inaugurated in Kohima on the 18th February 1961. This 
Interim Body functioned effectively for two years. This was 
despite intense hostile and violent activity, like raids, arson, 
and murder, organised by the Federal Government of 
Nagaland from their jungle hideouts. 

Statehood for Nagaland 

In December 1963, much before the stipulated time, these 
interim arrangements came to an end and a full-fledged 
democratic state within the Indian Unoin came into being. 
This was the State of Nagaland, the sixteenth State of the 
Indian Union. It was created under the State of Nagaland 
Act, 1962, with necessary modifications in the Constitution 
of India. In order to inaugurate the new State, the President 
of India, Dr Radhakrishnan, made a special trip to Kohima. 
Dr. Radhakrishnan's visit was the result of an interesting 
dialogue between Mr P. Shilu Ao, Chief Executive Council- 


Emergence of Nagaland 

lor, and Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, when the former 
came to meet the latter in Delhi. This dialogue went as 

Nehru: The Interim period is for three years ? 
Shilu: Your gesture to end it much before the time will 

be well received. 
Nehru: But the violence continues and the hostiles are 

Shilu: Leave it to us to deal with our own kith and kin. I 

will request you to inaugurate the State. 
Nehru: I shall send our philospher- statesman to inau- 
gurate the State. He is a holy soul. His blessing 
shall bring peace and amity. 
The inaugural function of the new State of Nagaland was a 
colourful function held at the Football Ground in Kohima 
on 1 December 1963, and presided over by Dr S. Radha- 
krishnan, the President of India. The function was lent a 
festive air by the presence of thousands of colourfully 
dressed Nagas representing different tribes. Wishing the 
brave people of Nagaland a bright future, Dr Radhakrish- 
nan said: "Let all past rancour and misunderstanding be 
forgotten and a new chapter of progress, prosperity and 
goodwill be written on the page which opens today." He also 
expressed the hope that the fulfilment of the hopes of the 
people of Nagaland would now be conducive to a rapid 
return to normalcy. He also extended an invitation to those 
Nagas who were still not reconciled to the new conditions to 
come forward and play positive and meaningful role in the 
development of Nagaland. The President also called upon 
the administrators to relate to the people in a warm and 
humane manner so as to provide a healing touch to the Naga 
psyche. He wanted them io assist the Naga people in the 
proper celebration of their innocent joys through their 
songs, dances, feasts and festivals. 

The President wanted to ensure that the resources of 
Nagaland are developed to the fullest extent. For this 
purpose there might be need for assistance from the Centre. 

Emergence of Nagaland 


The President assured the people that such assistance would 
be available to the Naga people in full measure. He felt that 
now it was up to the Nagas to take the maximum advantage 
of the opportunities and vistas opening out in front of them 
and become actively involved in building' up a progressive 
and prosperous India. 

Constitutional Safeguards 

Along with the formation of the State of Nagaland. certain 
measures were also taken to provide for the specific 
conditions prevailing within Nagaland. Prominent among 
them was the amended Article 371 -A of the Constitution of 
India. It provided safeguards for the religious and social 
practices of the Naga people according to their traditional 
and customary law and usage. It also made provisions for the 
protection of ownership of land and its resources. Due to the 
comparative backwardness of the Tuensang district, the 
Constitution provided for its administration by a Governor 
for ten years from the date of formation of the State of 
Nagaland. During this period any Act of the Nagaland 
Legislature could apply to Tuensang only if the Governor, 
on the recommendation of the Regional Council, directed it 
by Public Notification. The Governor was also empowered 
to make regulations to repeal or amend, if necessary, any 
Act of Parliament, or any other law, which was for the time 
being applicable to this district. All this was to ensure the 
rapid progress of this backward area and to bring it on par, 
not just with the rest of the state but with the rest of the 

Chapter 6 


Formation of State Government 

The inauguration of Nagaland as the sixteenth State of the 
Indian Union on December 1, 1963, vindicated the stand 
taken by the Naga Peoples' Convention. It was a recognition 
and justification of the viability of the views expressed by the 
Convention under the leadership of its President Dr 
Imkongliba Ao and Shri P. Shilu Ao, the first Chief Minister 
of Nagaland. After the installation of the Interim Body and 
the Executive Council in 1961, the Chief Councillor, Shilu 
Ao, alongwith four of his Councillors, J.B. Jasokie, Chiten 
Jamir, Akum Imlong and myself, visited New Delhi 
and called upon the Prime Minister, Pandit Jawaharlal 
Nehru. The team assured the Prime Minister that the grant 
of Statehood to Nagaland was the step in the right direction 
as it would not only be welcomed by the Naga people but 
would also undermine the influence of the Underground 
Nagas. They added that the formation of the State much 
before the specified date would boost and inspire the forces 
of peace to make more strenuous efforts towards the 
restoration of law and order in the area. The delegation also 
assured the Prime Minister that adequate steps would be 
taken to ensure that no trouble be created during the 
inauguration ceremony. During the discussions on the 
relationship between the State and the Government of 
India, I emphasised the fact that this relationship has to be 
built on an understanding of each other leading to mutual 

Public Jubilations and the Peace Agreement 


■ i incidence and goodwill. I told the Prime Minister that the 
' would not appreciate half-way measures. Either the 
Government of India should repose complete trust and 
Confidence in the Naga people or it should give up the 
pretence of trust. Pandit Nehru replied that he had full trust 
Hlld confidence in the Naga people and would give all help 
establish the State Government of Nagaland as early as 

I he leaders of the Naga Peoples' Convention firmly felt 
thai in order to move towards the realisation of the Naga 
Dream, there must be a complete stoppage of bloodshed 
ind the suffering of the people. In order to do this, the 
leadership needed some leverage in the form of some 
Concrete political offer to be made to the people as a token 
I -I the desire for understanding and goodwill. This would not 
'inly create a congenial atmosphere for securing the support 
Hid sympathy of the overground Nagas, but could also lead 
to a persuasion of the Underground Nagas to give up their 
Violent ways and to accept the realities of the situation. The 
oiler of Statehood to Naga people went a long way in 
providing this leverage and token of goodwill. It must be 
ktid to the credit of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru that he, in spite 
of great opposition within and outside the Parliament, was 
Convinced of the wisdom of offering a separate State to the 
N;igas. It was due to his efforts that the State of Nagaland, 
with sufficient safeguards, came into being. 

Public Jubilations 

The spontaneous welcome given to Dr S. Radhakrishnan, 
the then President of India, and his party, by the 16 tribal 
representatives of the Nagas, exceeded all expectations. 
Over 10,000 Nagas in their colourful costumes, shining 
Shields, glittering spears, flowing hornbill feathers and 
Im ight-shash, had lined up on the 3-mile route from the high 
school helipad to the Raj Bhavan. They expressed their 
happiness through songs, dances and shouts of joy. The 


Emergence of Nagaland 

speech of the President of India was received with great joy 
and shouts of acclamation. The Nagas did not use the 
conventional form of clapping hands to express their 
approval, they did it with full-throated shouts and long- 
piercing cries of joy. As the applause swelled and grew, the 
hills viberated as the sound resounded high and low. This 
ovation must have lasted for more than four to five minutes 
after the President had taken his seat. This was followed by 
the ceremonial presentations from all the tribes. During this 
period a Konyak fired a muzzle loading gun, jumped high 
and shouted: "Long live our President". The cue was taken 
and the slogan shouting was repeated from one corner to 
another. The wonderful December weather of Kohima in 
the form of the beauteous natural surroundings, lent its grace 
and charm to the scene. 

Later on, the Governor, Shri Vishnu Sahay, at a meeting 
of appraisal made a mention of the extraordinary and 
profuse expression of genuine and spontaneous emotion of 
the people. He said, "I had my reservations when I was 
assured that the Nagas in general would welcome the 
formation of the. State as they were keen to settle down and 
rebuild their devastated socio-economic life." He also 
referred to the large number of the Underground Nagas who 
too had joined the inauguration function. They had come 
incognito, perhaps to gauge the public reaction to the 
statehood. During the inauguration celebrations the contin- 
gents from the Sema, Lotha and the Tuensang areas, were very 
conspicuous by their numbers and their enthusiasm. 

Reaction of the Underground 

The whole-hearted welcome to the statehood by the Nagas 
elicited an immediate reaction among the Underground 
leaders. The Phizo group immediately called an emergency 
meeting to discuss the situation arising out of the weakening 
of their hold on the insurgency. They were perturbed over 
the fact that the fighting arm of the Underground from the 

Public Jubilations and the Peace Agreement 101 

Semas and the Tuensang areas was parting company from 
them. Shilu was considered to be too crafty and parochial 
and capable of influencing the Aos thereby leaving 
Chakhesang and the Angamis in the lurch. While no body 
wanted the insurgency to prolong any further yet it was 
difficult to ignore Phizo and his followers. The refusal of the 
Tuensang group to j oin in the meeting of the Underground was 
also taken as a sign of their having accepted the reality of the 
Statehood. Moreover Shri Akum Imlong, the representative 
of this group, had flatly refused to lend them any support. 
As the Underground Nagas found themselves becoming 
increasingly isolated, they also began to realise that Phizo 
had little chance of staging a come-back. However, they did 
not want to betray the oath taken by them when Phizo had 
left to arrange for outside intervention for their independ- 
ence. They also knew that if Shilu and his party won the 
majority in the elections then the return of Phizo would 
become an impossibility. Consequently, taking into consid- 
eration all these factors, the Underground decided that 
either the elections should be got postponed or before the 
elections took place Phizo should be involved with some sort 
of parleys for an overall solution to the Naga issue. With this 
end in view they evolved an effective strategy. It was given 
out that Phizo was ready to return to Nagaland to declare a 
unilateral ceasefire. It was also said that Phizo had offered to 
have talks with the Government of India. 

Mr S.C. Jamir, who was then the Union Deputy Minister, 
strongly objected in Parliament to any meeting between 
Phizo and the Prime Minister over and above the heads of 
the Shilu Government. He also conveyed the same views to 
me. I fully supported his stand and in this context wrote to 
Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru about it. Jawaharlal Nehru's reply to 
my letter was: 

No. 807-PMH/63, dated 1 April 1963. 
Dear Shri Hokishe Sema, 
Thank you for your letter of the 25th March which I was 


Emergence of Nagaland 

glad to read. We have been appreciating the efforts made 
by you and your government to bring about peace and 
progress in Nagaland. I fully agree with you that these 
efforts are bound to succeed. We have gone as far as we 
possibly could in the formation of Nagaland. The future 
lies in the hands of the Nagas themselves and this is as it 
should be. 

I sent a message to Phizo in answer to his letter to me 
through Rev. Michael Scott, not because of any exagger- 
ated notion of Phizo's importance in the circumstances, or 
because we were at all panicky about the conditions there. 
We are sure that we shall be able to deal with it ade- 
quately. I sent my message to him simply because I 
have seldom refused to meet any person whoever hei 
might be. But in sending my message to him, I said that I 
could only meet him if previously law and order was fully 
restored in Nagaland and further that the existing struc- 
ture in Nagaland was accepted; we could not change it. I 
also informed Michael Scott that whatever steps we would 
take would be in consultation with and with the approval 
of the present government of Nagaland. On no account 
could we bypass that government. I said so, because I was 
anxious that the prestige of your government shall be kept 
up and further that we should act according to your 

You will thus notice that I did not act in any way which 
might be deemed derogatory to your government. What- 
ever we may do in regard to Nagaland will be done after 
consulting your government. 

I send you my good wishes, 

Yours sincerely, 
(Jawaharlal Nehru) 

Democratic Process 
While these discussions were going on, the Election Com- 

Public Jubilations and the Peace Agreement 


mission announced the dates of the election to the new 
Nagaland Assembly. At this moment an interesting develop- 
ment took place. Within a week of the announcement of the 
election dates, Shri A. Kevichusa, a retired IAS officer, 
announced the formation of a political party called the 
I >cmocratic Front. I strongly felt that it was too early for the 
Nagas to fight elections on the basis of political parties in the 
lace of the tribal divisions and the Underground problems. 
The system of Tribal Representatives was doing very well 
and it could have continued till the problems posed by the 
Underground were satisfactorily solved. At the same time, 
the formation of the Democratic Front was a tactical move 
calculated to keep the doors open for Phizo's return if they 
won the elections. Even if they failed to win the elections, 
they wanted to create a situation which would undermine 
the successful functioning of the Administration. 

As the election dates had been announced and the 
Democratic Front had entered the fray, we were left with no 
alternative but to form a counter political organisation. The 
name that we gave to this organisation was the Nagaland 
Nationalist Organisation (NNO). We drafted the Constitu- 
tion of the NNO on the lines of the constitution of the All 
India National Congress. This name was chosen from the 
point of view of the appeal to the Naga people. The 
comprehensive propaganda that the Democratic Front had 
as grist to its mill was the demand for the independence of 
Nagaland and the involvement of Phizo in Naga affairs. On 
the other hand, the NNO pledged for peace and economic 
progress of the Naga people. 

Ten days before the elections, on the 31st December, 
1963, a meeting between the Government of Nagaland and 
Phizo was fixed at the behest of Phizo. Shilu Ao, the Chief 
Minister of Nagaland, issued a statement on 4th January, 
1964 regarding the proposed meeting and he called this 
meeting "a ray of hope". He hoped that with Phizo's coming 
to India for negotiation with the Nagaland Government, 
peace would be restored to the area. Shilu's purpose in 


Emergence of Nagaland 

issuing this statement was to ensure that the 1952 boycott of 
elections was not repeated by the Naga people. He also 
wanted to show to the Nagas that Phizo, in accepting to talk 
with the Nagaland Government, had in fact accepted the 
legality of the Nagaland Government and also the fact that 
this State was an integral part of the Indian Union. 

On the part of Phizo it was a last ditch attempt to 
re-establish his hold on the Naga people. In this effort he 
was strongly supported by Church Leaders headed by 
Reverend Longri Ao as well as a very vocal Angami and 
Chakesang public. When the announcement of the meeting 
was made, it was hailed by the Church Leaders and the 
Kohima public. Many were too dazed to even believe that 
the grounds had been prepared for such a meeting. It was 
thought by many that this was a chance for Phizo to make a 
triumphant return to Nagaland. However, it all turned out 
to be an exercise in futility because Phizo did not come. The 
Democratic Front, which had set great store by Phizo's 
return, was in complete confusion. They fought the election 
hoping against hope that Phizo might come any time and 
swing the tide in their favour. The NNO managed to secure 
a number of unopposed returns to the Assembly, and I was 
one of these. However Shilu faced a stiff fight from the 
Democratic Front. Finally, the Democratic Front won 12 
seats and the NNO won 28 seats. Tuensang had 20 seats as 
their share, according to population, but under the Special 
Provision they did not go to the polls but sent their 6 
representatives through the Tuensang Regional Council. 

Church Convention 

Had the Democratic Front won they would have, first of all, 
invited Phizo, thereby causing considerable embarrassment 
to the Central Government. This would also have created a 
new turmoil in Nagaland. However, the Naga people 
through their opinion at the polls, prevented any such 
disaster from taking place. Yet, the matter regarding Phizo's 

Public Jubilations and the Peace Agreement 


proposed peace talks had not come to any conclusion. 
Therefore, while Shilu was forming his Ministry, the 
pro-Phizo Nagas raised the Phizo peace talks issue through 
the Church Leaders. Five thousand delegates, including the 
Church Leaders met at Wokha from 31 January to 2 
February 1964, to attend the Third Nagaland Baptist 
Convention. After lengthy deliberations, the following 
resolution was adopted: 

Being deeply concerned about the restoration of peace in 
Nagaland the Convention welcomes the proposed peace 
talks between the Government of Nagaland and Mr A.Z. 
Phizo. While welcoming the peace-talks we are deeply 
concerned about the continued, disturbances in the land, 
and therefore, this Third Nagaland Baptist Convention 
attended by more than 5,000 representatives from all the 
tribes of Nagaland unanimously resolved to request the 
Government of Nagaland, and through it, the Govern- 
ment of India, to open further avenues for making 
available the services of Shri Jayaprakash Narayan, Shri 
Shankar Deo, Shri Bimla Prasad Chaliha and Rev. 
Michael Scott, with the sole object of exploring ways and 
means for the speedy restoration of peace and normalcy in 
Nagaland and that Church Leaders of Nagaland be 
requested to give every possible help and co-operation for 
the success of the Mission. 

Prime Minister Nehru gave his consent and blessings to 
the setting up of a Peace Mission. The Church Convention 
Resolution received total support from all sections of the 
Naga people. This resolution was unanimously adopted by 
the Nationalist Organisation (Ruling Party) at its General 
Session held at Dimapur. On 13 March, 1964, the 
Government of Nagaland passed the following resolution: 

(a) that efforts be made to open every possible avenues 
to negotiate for such a talk, giving full opportunities to 
all sections of the public of Nagaland in mobilising the 


Emergence of Nagaland 

public opinion, to prepare the spade-work making the 
proposed talk a success with the sole object of 
restoration of lasting peace in Nagaland;. 

(b) that the leaders of the Nagaland Baptist Convention 
be urged to take immediate initiative to prepare the 
groundwork tapping the feelings of the Underground 
people for a joint peace talk with a view to put an end 
to that problem; and 

(c) that the Underground people be urged to consider the 
matter of peace talks seriously and to respond readily 
to the call of the people to put all their efforts to 
create a congenial atmosphere and healthy climate for 
the peace talk. 

To supervise and implement the above resolution Govern-j 
ment of Nagaland took another decision to constitute a 
peace committee and the following members were selected: 

Mr P. Shilu Ao, Chief Minister; Mr Tochi Hanso, MLA- 
Mr T. Kikon, MLA; Mr Yeshito, MLA; Mr Shangnyu 
Konyak, MLA; Mr Wezulhi, MLA; Mr Vizoi, MLA; Mr 
Tajen Ao, MLA and Mr Bendangangshi Ao, MLA. 

The NNO leaders hoped that by opening, avenues for the 
holding of peace talks, they would get a chance of exercising 
some influence on the Underground and of extending their 
hold over them. The Church Leaders wanted that the talks 
should be held under their auspices. They also wanted to 
include certain third parties in the talks. Shilu objected to 
this and also to the mention of Phizo as the sole spokesman 
for the Underground Nagas. Further, he insisted that the 
talks be held with the Government of Nagaland within the 
scope and framework of the Indian Constitution. On the 
13th and 14th March 1964, a special meeting of the 
Baptist Convention was held at Kohirna. There a resolution 
was passed expressing satisfaction at the keen response of 
the Naga public towards the peace moves and decided to 

Public Jubilations and the Peace Agreement 


send a cable to Mr A. Z. Phizo asking for his cooperation for 
the implementation of the Convention's resolution. It also 
resolved to request the Government of Nagaland to relax all 
Army operations to enable free movement in Nagaland and 
to send letters to top-ranking Underground leaders urging 
them to desist from activities that would hamper the success 
of the peace talks. This Committee further resolved that 
Rev Longri Ao, Rev Shihoto Sunhetho, Shri Kenneth 
Kerhuo and Shri Toniho Chishi would represent the 
Nagaland Baptist Convention to negotiate with the repre- 
sentatives of the Naga Federal Government regarding the 
peace talks. Finally, the Committee resolved to appeal 
strongly to all citizens of Nagaland to extend their coopera- 
tion and moral support for the success of the proposed peace 

Peace Mission 

Ultimately the Peace Mission comprising of Shri B.P. 
Chaliha, Shri Jayaprakash Narayan, and Rev. Michael Scott 
was constituted with the help of the Baptist Church Leaders 
and others. This Peace Mission was expected to serve as an 
impartial mediating body which would bring the contending 
parties together around the conference table and help them 
to solve their problems and differences through reasoning 
jpd understanding. However certain parameters were clear- 
Ty demarcated. This was expressed by Rev Longri to Rev 
Scott in his first meeting with him at Dimapur on the 26th 
March 1964. He told Rev Scott very frankly that the Nagas 
could not break off their traditional links with India. Hedged 
between Manipur and Assam, almost landlocked, the Nagas 
could hardly exist without a deep understanding and 
friendship with India. The wisdom and vision given by God 
combined with nobility of action would help the Nagas solve 
l heir problems by placing them in the proper perspective 
vis-a-vis the peaceful, cooperative and understanding rela- 
tionship with the rest of the country. 


Emergence of Nagaland 

Rev. Michael Scott 

Regarding the involvement of Rev Michael Scott in the 
peace efforts and his arrival in Nagaland, I had from the very 
beginning entertained serious reservations. My misgivings 
about Rev Scott had crystallised during one of Rev Scott's 
earlier visits to New Delhi. He had come to meet Shri P. 
Shilu at the Hyderabad House in New Delhi. Shri S.C. 
Jamir, Shri Chi ten Jamir, and I were with Mr Shilu then. I 
told Rev. Scott, that Phizo had created fissures and 
bloodshed in Nagaland causing untold hardship and miseries 
and then he had run away from Nagaland. Phizo, I said, 
must come back and solve the problems created by him in 
order to win the respect of the people. If he chose to stay 
away from Nagaland, I added, then he had no right to speak 
on behalf of the Naga people. In his reply to me, Rev Scott 
added that as the Indian Government was the successor 
government to the British Government therefore the House 
of Lords and the House of Commons had every right to have 
their say on the Naga issue. Shri S.C. Jamir then replied, 
that the House of Lords and House of Commons had no 
right to interfere in the affairs of Independent India. 

My misgivings were further strengthened when Rev 
Michael Scott and Shri B.P. Chaliha came to Kohima on 4 
April 1964. Here they addressed a huge meeting along with 
a few Church leaders and Shri Kevichusa. In this entire 
affair the State Government was neither consulted nor 
associated in any way. On the other hand, it is pertinent to \ 
note, Kevichusa was invited to address the meeting. In an 8- 
page cyclostyled address he made a strong plea to "start all 
over again". By this he meant that the State Assembly be 
dissolved and the State Government be done away with. His 
argument was that the present government was composed of 
Government officials and unless the opposition group was 
associated in the task of reconstruction , no permanent solution 
was possible. He went to argue that the first task in the State 
was to establish peace and then to seek political solutions. 

Public Jubilations and the Peace Agreement 


The day after this meeting, Rev Scott addressed a few 
villagers from Kohima and told them , "Phizo has sent me to see 
that your aspirations are met and peace returns to your 
beautiful country." When a few days later he went to meet 
Shri Scato Swu, the President of the Underground, he met 
with a rebuff. Scato Swu asked Scott to leave them alone. 
"You Britishers have betrayed us. When matters were in 
your hands you discarded us and now your conscience has 
started pricking you. Neither will Phizo come nor will we 
accept his solution. He and Shilu both started the trouble. 
Now both have to be sidelined." For the first time perhaps 
Scott understood that though Phizo was the President of a 
political party, it was Scato who was the President of the 
Federal Government of Nagaland and that all the powers 
were in his hands. Scott was embarrassed. When he told the 
Church leaders about his experience with Scato, he was told 
by them that Scato was under the influence of Hokishe 
Sema. They also told him that the differences between 
Phizo, Kaito, Kughato, and Scato were in the knowledge of 
public, but the aim of both the factions was the same, that is, 
attainment of independence. 

Negotiation with the Underground 

The Peace Mission, with the help of the Baptist Church 
leaders, met the Underground leaders and discussed with 
thjjln the steps to be taken to bring about the suspension of 
hostilities. The Underground Nagas laid down three condi- 
tions for the suspension of hostilities and for holding talks: 
First, the Government of India should suspend all patrol- 
ling by its troops not only within Nagaland but also along the 
international border. On their part, the hostile Nagas would 
also cease their patrolling. Secondly, the Underground 
Nagas would hold talks only with the Government of India 
and not with the Nagaland Government led by Shilu Ao. 
They did not recognise the Shilu Ao Government and did 
not even want its representation in the talks. Thirdly, the 


Emergence of Nagaland 

Underground Nagas wanted the talks with the Government 
of India to be held in the presence of an observer from a 
foreign country. Further, there would be a cease-fire during 
the period of the talks. 

For one and a half month, negotiations went on regarding 
the conditions laid down by the Underground Nagas. 
Finally the Peace Mission reached an agreement with the 
Underground Nagas at Sakrabama in the Chakhesang area, 
which was signed on 25 May 1964 by Shri J. P. Narayan, Shri 
B.P. Chaliha, and Rev Michael Scott on the one hand and 
by Biseto Medon, Zashie Hurie, Hokiye Swu and Suletsuon 
the other hand. According to this agreement the Under- 
ground Nagas assured that no arms would be imported from 
other countries during the peace talks. They also agreed not 
to press their demands for the presence of international 
observers during the early stages of the talks because the 
Government of India had accepted the principle of an 
impartial witness by allowing one member of the Peace 
Mission to be a Britisher. The agreement further stated: 
"On the understanding that the terms communicated to us 
by the Peace Mission will constitute an agreement with the 
Government of India, with whom negotiations for a lasting 
settlement will take place, we agree on behalf of the Federal 
Government of Nagaland as from date to be decided, to 
suspend all forms of violent activities." The agreement 
further stipulated that this relaxation would be declared for 
an initial period of one month from the agreed date, after 
allowing 15 days for all concerned to be informed of the 
terms and conditions of the cessation of operations. It 
further envisaged that the agreement would subsequently be 
extended to cover all areas inhabited by the Naga people in 
Manipur, Cachar Hills, and the North East Frontier 
Agency. In the terms of this agreement, the Government of 
India was required to give an assurance to suspend activities 
like jungle operations, searching of villages, imposition of 
political fines, aerial action, patrolling beyond 1000 yards of 
security posts, and the raiding of the Federal army positions 

I 'ub lie Jubilations and the Peace Agreement 


and administrative camps. The Underground also agreed to 
suspend snipping, ambushing, kidnapping, recruitment, 
tiring at security posts, towns, administrative centres, imposi- 
tion of fines, and other acts of subversion and sabotage. 
During the period of the cease-fire, the protection of 
convoys, columns, administrative centres and towns, would 
continue as usual but in order to avoid the possibility of any 
clash there would be no patrolling in the international 
border area. The road protection parties would also cease to 
operate during the cease-fire. The Underground Nagas 
assured that they would cooperate in preventing any 
violation of the Frontier during the cease-fire period. The 
concluding part of the agreement stated: "We the members 
of the Peace Mission undertake to forward the above 
agreement to the Government of India and to do all in our 
power to ensure its faithful fulfilment by both sides." 

The Shilu Ao Government found the terms of the 
agreement to be wholly unacceptable as they were intended 
to undermine its duly constituted authority. Its reactions 
were conveyed to Shri B.P. Chaliha, who was expected to 
present them to the Government of India during his talks 
with them. It was also stated that the proposal to suspend 
patrolling along the international border was mainly de- 
signed to enable the rebels to indulge in gun-running from 
Pakistan (now Bangladesh) with impunity. It was also felt 
that this would enable the bands of Naga hostiles who were 
in East Pakistan at that time to enter India with ease. There 
were also serious objections to the use of the word 
'cease-fire' by the Underground. The Minister for External 
Affairs, Shri Swaran Singh, clarified in the Parliament that 
the expression 'cease-fire' had not been used at all and what 
was mentioned were the terms and conditions for the 
suspension of operations in Nagaland. 

After examining the terms of the agreement, the Govern- 
ment of India suggested certain amendments and modifica- 
tions. It did not recognise the Naga hostiles as the Federal 
Government of Nagaland, as they had styled themselves. 


Emergence of Nagaland 

Further, the Government of India suggested that the 
Government of Nagaland headed by Shri P. Shilu Ao be 
associated in the talks with the Underground Nagas. The 
Government of India also made it very clear that it would 

cTarifiel^f ^T inte ™ atlonaI borders.. It further 
dan&ed that it had not accepted the presence of internation- 
al observers at the negotiating table; the presence of Rev 

Son and" Tt ** t0 ^ ° f the Pe -e 

Mission and not because of his British nationality 

The amendments suggested by the Government of India 

wer e unacc eptable to the Underground Nagas. In ordert 

sort out matters the Peace Mission tried to hold another 

meeting with the Underground leaders at Kohima. In order 

that th k meeting the Under g r °«"d leaders demanded 
^t hey be assured safe conduct directly from the Govern. 

r N ,l . M aSSUrance from the Chief Secretary 

of Nagaland was not acceptable to them. However at the 

Snd Ce th°e ^ C ? UrCh lead6rS ' Wh ° h3d been TO 

sround Na °7 CeSSatl ° n ° f h0Stilities ' the Under 

issued bf,fV agreed t0 aCC6pt the ^-conduct passes 
issued by the Governor of Nagaland 

ScoT^hnT neg0 i tiati0m Were ^ng on Rev Michael 
Scott without consulting the other members of the Peace 
Mission wrote a letter to the Prime Minister outlining certain 

SeTa k s He H d h VOC f ^ f ° r 30 mdependent ^serv~ 
wtthdrl ? m 3lSO SUggCStcd that the Indian troops be 

Ice be t^" 1 K agaIand f ° r 3 Pen ° d ° f °" e and their 

fr endlv n hH Y V™** ^ obtained fr ™ India's 
rriendly neighbours. Rev Michael Scott held meetings with 

he Pe^ rg M Und Nag3S ° f WhlCh the ° ther two -emLrs of 
tne Peace Mission were kept ignorant 

The Government of India found Rev Scott's proposals 
jmplying interference by outsiders in the interna! aftoo 

ttnedT Y U n CCePtable - HenCC these P^als were 
turned down. During this period, Shri J.P. Narayan and 

Rev Scott came to my house and in the course of our 

discussions Rev Scott asked me whether the status of 

Public Jubilations and the Peace Agreement 113 

Puerto Rico in America would be acceptable to the Nagas. I 
told him that the first and foremost task of the Peace Mission 
was to bring the Underground leaders to the Conference 
Table for peace talks between the Underground Nagas and 
the Government. Any talk of political status at this stage 
would confuse the issues and in any case it was for the 
Underground to spell out their understanding of political 

status . 

Finally the Government of India authorised the Governor 
of Nagaland to negotiate an understanding with the hostile 
Nagas towards the suspension of their violent activities so 
that the peace talks could be held as early as possible. Shri 
Vishnu Sahay, the then Governor of Assam and Nagaland 
sent a letter to the Peace Mission on August 14, 1964, on 
behalf of the Government of India, setting forth terms and 
conditions as well as the date for the cessation of operations 
in Nagaland. 

Agreement with the Underground 

At last an agreement was reached between the Underground 
Nagas and the Government of India through the good 
offices of the Peace Mission. This agreement, known as the 
'Ceasefire Agreement' was signed by Shri Vishnu Sahay on 
behalf of the Government of India, and Shri Zashi Hurie 
Angh of Zapfu State, Shri Biseto Medon, Lota- 
Kilonser and Shri Zhenito Tatar on behalf of the Under- 
ground Nagas. Under the terms of the agreement the Special 
Powers of the Armed Forces as well as the Nagaland 
Security Regulations would be withdrawn from the 6th 
September, 1964. Under the good offices of the Peace 
Mission, it was decided to begin the peace talks between the 
Government of India and the Underground Nagas on 
September 23, 1964. The State Government was not to be a 
party to the peace talks but the Chief Minister of Nagaland, 
Shri P. Shilu Ao was to be a member of the Indian 
Government delegation to the talks. Moreover the Govern- 


Emergence of Nagaland 

ment of Nagaland was helping the Government of India and 
the Peace Mission in every possible way to create the right 
kind of atmosphere conducive to fruitful talks between the 
two parties. With the signing of this agreement a long period 
of uncertainty, vaccilations, unproductive manoeuvrings, 
and futile wranglings came to an end and the stage was set 
for moving forward towards an era of peace and goodwill. 

Chapter 7 


Peace Talks Across the Table 

On 23 September 1964 the peace talks began with the first 
meeting at Chedema near Kohima. The Government 
delegation consisted of Shri P. Shilu Ao, Chief Minister of 
Nagaland, Shri Y.D. Gundevia, Foreign Secretary to the 
Government of India, Brigadier D.M. Sen, Advocate 
General to the Government of Nagaland, and Shri Uma 
Nath Sharma, Chief Secretary to the Government of 
Nagaland. Shri N.F. Santok, Deputy Secretary to the Union 
Government was another member of this team but he did 
not attend this meeting. The team of the Underground 
Nagas comprised of Shri Issac Swu, Foreign Secretary to the 
Underground, Shri Zashie Huire and Shri Thinuchielie, a 
Brigadier of the Underground Forces. Others who were 
present in this meeting were the members of the Peace 
Mission and leaders of the Baptist Church Council. 

The meeting began with an objection from the side of the 
Underground delegation. They objected to the inclusion of 
the Chief Minister of Nagaland, Shri P. Shilu Ao, in the 
Government delegation. Shri Y.D. Gundevia, the leader of 
the Government delegation, referred to the letter dated 29th 
August of the Underground 'Home Minister' in which he 
had agreed that his earlier letter of 10th August and the 
letter from Governor dated 14th August, constituted an 
agreement on the suspension of operations. In the Gov- 
ernor's letter it was clearly stated that the representatives of 


Emergence of Nagaland 

the Nagaland Government would be included in the Indian 
Government delegation. It was only after lengthy discus- 
sions and long delay that the Underground Nagas reconciled 
to the presence of Mr P. Shilu Ao as a member of the 
Government delegation. However, they accepted him only 
as a member of the Government delegation and not as a 
representative of the Nagaland Government which they did 
not recognise. At the same time the Underground Nagas 
were told that though the Government had accepted their 
delegation and was talking to them, it did not recognise their 
Federal Government. 

In the meeting on the 1st of October, 1964, Shri Issac Swu 
asserted that India and Nagaland were two different nations 
living side by side. He added that they had come to 
Chadema to exchange opinions and views as to how to 
establish friendship between these two nations. Such a 
friendship, he said, would go a long way in establishing 
peace not only between the two nations, but also in South 
East Asia and throughout the whole world. Shri Gundevia, 
in reply to Shri Issac Swu's two-nation theory, emphasised 
that India and Nagaland were in fact only one nation and the 
integrity of Nagaland with the rest of the country had to be 
understood at all levels. He further pointed out the fact that 
the Indian Constitution incorporated in it the Nine-Point 
Agreement, including the special provisions aimed at 
ensuring the preservation of tribal identity in the forms of its 
practices, laws and customs. Further, the Indian Govern- 
ment was committed to the constitutional provision that 
tribal lands would not be alienated and non-tribals would not 
be allowed to purchase property in tribal areas. Thus, Shri 
Gundevia pointed out the fact that in many ways the tribal 
areas were enjoying an autonomy which was not to be found 
in other parts of the country. Shri Gundevia told the 
Underground Nagas that their separatist demands were not 
only impractical but also retrogressive. The Nagas, he 
pointed out, did not have infrastructure to support the basics 
of a sovereign state like the army, the legislature, and the 

Peace Talks with the Underground 


administration. It was difficult for the Nagas to bear the cost 
of the day-to-day necessities of life and so to think of being 
able to support the appendages of a nation would be 
building castles in the air. Moreover, he told them that they 
were fortunate in having the affection and support of Pandit 
Nehru whose party enjoyed a two-thirds majority in 
Parliament. Thus they could be sure of getting the best 
possible terms from them. Finally he added that the 
differences between them were only the differences of 
understanding. In fact, he said, both the parties had a similar 
conception of the welfare and the future of Nagaland. 

Mr Chaliha, who was present in the meeting, was 
requested to say a few words and he said: "Naga demand for 
independence was a genuinely held belief and when the 
Indian Government did not find it acceptable it too probably 
had strong reasons for it." He added that the Indian 
Government was committed to the good of Naga people. He 
also hoped that the delegates from the Underground would 
make their points very clear in the future. He expressed the 
hope that a mutually acceptable solution would emerge after 
open and clear discussions. 

When the peace talks resumed on October 12, Shri Zashi 
Huire submitted a statement outlining the requirements to 
be met in order to establish peace and to pave the way for a 
political solution between the Underground Nagas and the 
Government of India. For this purpose, it would be 
necessary to take the following steps: (1) The closing down 
of all concentration camps; (2) Withdrawal of Indian Armed 
Forces from Nagaland; and (3) Release of all political 
prisoners in Nagaland. Shri Gundevia replied that under the 
Indian Law, there was no question of there being any 
'concentration camps' in any part of India, including 
Nagaland. Regarding political prisoners he said that no one 
was under unlawful confinement-some were under lawful 
conviction while others were awaiting trial. However, the 
release of such prisoners could be considered when a peace 
settlement had been arrived at. As for the presence of the 


Emergence of Nagaland 

armed forces in Nagaland, he said that once peace was 
restored it would no longer be necessary to deploy security 
forces for the purposes of maintaining law and order. 
However, to carry out their duties on the international 
boundaries, these security forces would continue to be used. 

At this stage, the Peace Mission proposed to both the 
parties to make a declaration renouncing the use of force for 
settling the political conflict. If such a declaration is made 
then it could lead to the laying down of arms by the 
Underground Nagas, and the Government of India could 
also then withdraw its troops from Nagaland. Shri Gundevia 
added that if the arms of the Naga Underground could be 
disposed of in safe custody then it would not be necessary to 
keep the Indian Army in Nagaland except for its duties on 
the international border. After discussion for two days on 
this issue the proposal for the renunciation of force was 
accepted by both the parties in principle. The Peace Mission 
was entrusted with the task of drawing up a detailed 
workable plan for the disarmament of the Underground 
forces and for the withdrawal of the Indian Security Forces 
from Nagaland. On the 16th October 1964, the Peace 
Mission sent its scheme to both the delegations. According 
to this scheme the delegation of the Government of India 
were asked to submit a plan for the withdrawal of the 
security forces and the Underground Nagas were asked to 
submit a list of arms and ammunitions in their control and 
also submit a plan for depositing these arms and ammuni- 
tions in safe custody. 

On the 10th November Shri Gundevia was informed that 
the Underground suggested that the Indian Security Forces 
should move out of Nagaland first and then a political 
settlement could be reached. Shri Gundevia made it very 
clear that the Security Forces would move out as soon as a 
political settlement was reached and not before the arms and 
ammunitions of the Underground were deposited in safe 
custody. The Peace Mission had envisaged a situation in 
which the Underground Nagas' arms would be deposited in 

Peace Talks with the Underground 


safe custody and the Government of India would agree to 
withdraw their Security Forces so that a proper atmosphere 
be created in which a political settlement could be arrived at. 

Reluctance of the Underground 

The peace talks were resumed on 11th November 1964. Now 
the Underground Nagas went back on their commitment to 
lay down their arms. Shri Gundevia also complained that, in 
contravention of terms of their peace agreement, the hostile 
Nagas were parading their arms in villages. He stated that 
under these conditions he could not see how any political 
settlement could be formulated. On the 14th November 
1964 the leader of the Government delegation again wanted 
the Underground to define their concept of 'independence'. 
The Government felt that much development works had 
been accomplished and much was in progress. Yet, if the 
Underground Nagas were dissatisfied it was for them to state 
in clear terms what they wanted. He also said that mere 
slogans and empty words were nothing but generating so 
much of hot air. Shri Gundevia appealed to the Under- 
ground to come back and work for the good of the people of 
Nagaland and also to stop the meaningless bloodshed and 
destruction of property. 

The Underground, in reply, wrote to the leader of the 
Government delegation that the Naga people had never 
been conquered by anyone including the Indian Army; they 
had never been a part of India nor ruled over by any Indian 
Government. The Government of Britain had never trans- 
ferred their rights as conquerors to India. The letter went on 
to refer to the principle of national self-determination 
upheld by the UNO which alone could lead to the 
emancipation of people from imperialism and colonialism. 
The letter continued to say that by dubious devices of legal 
history it could be argued that the sovereignty of the Naga 
people was transferred to India by virtue of the Acts of the 
British Parliament. As the Naga people were not repre- 


Emergence of Nagaland 

sented in this therefore such an interpretation would not be 
in accordance with moral rights, with the experiences of 
history or with the concepts of sovereignty as accepted by 
international jurists. In conclusion it states: 

If this is denied, let India herself in the name of justice and 
peace submit this case (a) to the International Court of 
Justice or (£>) let any nation in the United Nations which is 
interested in upholding the rights of people to self- 
determination, submit this matter to the International 
Court for an advisory opinion or an adjudication on a 
matter which must surely be a matter of great consequ- 
ences to humanity in the necessary task of bringing the 
rights of people within the scope of the Rule of Law and of 
bringing the right of self-determination of deprived 
peoples within the reach of those people through peaceful 
proceedings. Whatever the outcome of our long political 
conflicts with India, at such cost, when peace and 
friendship is attained, the rights of small peoples every- 
where will still require to be vindicated. To this end our 
struggle whether by war or law will, we trust, have played 
some part. 

Sustained Peace Efforts 

When the peace talks began again on 28th November 1964, 
Shri Gundevia said that they were meeting to discuss 'what 
was right' and not 'who was right'. Further, they were to 
arrive at a consensus regarding "what is best for the 
betterment of the people of Nagaland." He added, "If we 
are talking about peace and we want a peaceful solution then 
why should you, during these peace talks, send people over 
to Pakistan, a country unfriendly to us, and why should you 
want to buy arms." He was referring to the large groups of 
Underground hostile Nagas who had crossed over to Burma 
on their way* to then East Pakistan. 
The peace talks on 22nd December 1964 were held at 

Peace Talks with the Underground 


Khensa near Mokokchuhg. During these talks the Peace 
Mission put forward its proposals while adding that they 
were aware that their suggestions were not only the most 
just and fair, yet, under the given circumstances, they 
appeared to them to be the only practical ones. The 
proposals of the Peace Mission were something to this 

While the Peace Mission fully agrees with and endorses 
the principle that all subject peoples have the right to 
self-determination and that no group of people is compe- 
tent to rule over another, it also has to invite the attention 
of the Nagaland Federal Government to certain historical 
processes that had taken place to give birth to the Union 
of India and to the emergence of the great concepts and 
ideals underlying the Union Constitution. The British had 
conquered, at several stages and in diverse manners, 
various parts of the Indian subcontinent, comprising 
different ethnic groups, political systems and religious 
beliefs. However, under the aegis of the Indian National 
Congress and since 1929, under the leadership of Mahat- 
ma Gandhi, these various different peoples representing 
diverse linguistic, cultural, ethnic and religious elements 
came together against foreign colonial rule and developed 
a consciousness of nationhood. Unfortunately, this com- 
mon struggle against foreign imperialism that had welded 
these diverse peoples in the Indian subcontinent into one 
nation did not somehow have an appreciable impact on 
the Nagas. This was no doubt, due to the policy of 
isolation and exclusion so deftly practised by British rulers 
who believed in creating pockets contrary to each other 
and hoping to rule in perpetuity by dividing the peoples. 
In any case, this great national movement of unification 
which freed India, including Nagaland, from the yoke of 
foreign rule did not bring within its embracing sweep the 
Naga population to the same extent as it did the other 
parts of the subcontinent. Thus in 1947, when all the 


Emergence of Nagaland 

diverse peoples of India who had been brought under 
British rule, voluntarily agreed to form the Union of India 
and to share in the common endeavour to ensure that in 
this great Union the ideals of fraternity, liberty, justice 
and equality, as enshrined in the Constitution are fully 
achieved for the common benefit of all, the same response 
and sense of participation was not noticeable in the Naga 
areas. The Peace Mission appreciates the desire of the 
Underground Nagas for self-determination and their urge 
to preserve their integrity. It also appreciates the courage 
and tenacity displayed by the Naga people in their 
endeavour to achieve their goal. The Peace Mission thinks 
that some appropriate meeting point had to be found 
where the aims and ideals of the Nagaland Federal 
Government can be achieved and at the same time 
making it possible for the Government of India to accept 
these within the framework of the political settlement to 
be mutually agreed upon. The Peace Mission expresses its 
desire that both the Government of India as well as the 
Nagaland Federal Government should consider seriously 
whether such a meeting point can be reached. On the one 
hand, the Nagaland Federal Government can on their 
own volition decide to be a participant in the Union of 
India and mutually settle the terms and conditions for that 
purpose. On the other hand, the Government of India can 
consider to what extent the pattern and structure of the 
relationship between the Nagaland and the Government 
of India should be adopted and recast so as to satisfy the 
political aspirations of all sections of Naga opinion. 

The Peace Mission reiterates that the peace now 
obtaining in the Nagaland should be made everlasting 
With that object in view, the Peace Mission had offered 
certain suggestions, whereupon both the parties had 
unequivocally affirmed and declared that they would 
renounce war and violence as a means for political 
settlement. This declaration of renunciation of war and 
use of armed forces, it is earnestly emphasised, must not 

Peace Talks with the Underground 


be deviated from by any means. The Peace Mission s 
proposal, following this bilateral declaration of renuncia- 
tion of war, to deposit all underground arms' in safe 
custody and to withdraw all Indian Security Forceslfrom 
law and order duties could not unfortunately be im- 
plemented. Nevertheless, the Peace Mission would 
earnestly desire that in faithful pursuance of the declara- 
tion of renunciation of use of armed forces, both parties 
take concrete steps to remove all frictions. There have 
been numerous complaints and counter-complaints from 
both sides. 

The Peace Mission would suggest that the Nagaland 
Federal Government require all arms issued to its forces 
to be concentrated at one of several places m their 
armouries and under their custody, so that there can be no 
basis for any future complaint of their forces parading 
with arms or extorting money or supplies under threat. 
They should also seriously ask themselves whether further 
recruiting and movement out of Nagaland towards Pakis- 
tan does not create an impression that these are only acts 
preparatory towards resumption of hostilities and, if so, 
they should take remedial measures by putting a stop to 
such recruitment and movement. The Government of 
India should ensure that its security forces and the civil 
administration do continue to abide strictly with the terms 
of the agreement, both in letter and spirit. 

The Peace Mission, repeatedly, made tervent appeals to 
both the parties to make a serious consideration of the 
suggestions and proposals contained in their paper and also 
that all such actions be taken expeditiously as is required tor 
the maintenance of peace in the area. 

Charles Pawsey 

Meanwhile, in February 1965, Shri Charles Pawsey, the last 
British Deputy Commissioner of the Naga Hills visited 


Emergence of Nagaland 

Nagaland. He met the overground Nagas and told them that 
the aspirations of the Naga people could find complete 
fulfilment only within the Union of India. He said that there 
could be no question of the independence of one group of 
Indians against the others. He added that the youngsters 
who were bringing arms from other countries were only 
doing harm to themselves and their people. The Under- 
ground Nagas resented Shri Pawsey's visit because his views 
did not coincide with theirs. Consequently, Shri Jerenkokba 
Ao, the 'Home Minister' of the Underground wrote a letter 
to Shri Pawsey telling him that his visit to Nagaland was 
without prior intimation to his 'government', unless the 
purpose of his visit was cleared by the members of his 
'government' he could not be allowed to undertake a tour of 
Nagaland. Shri Pawsey then went to the Khensa Peace 
Camp to meet the Underground leaders. They, however, 
refused to meet him. 

On 5th February 1965, the Underground submitted their 
reply to the proposals of the Peace Mission. They wrote that 
in order to assess whether the Nagas wanted to remain 
within India or to live all by themselves a fair plebiscite was 
called for. This plebiscite, they said, should be supervised by 
some neutral country. At the same time they said that if the 
Government of India respected the rights of the Nagas then 
the Nagas were willing to enter into any kind of relationship 
with India which would ensure good neighbourly relations 
between them. 

Visit by Parliamentary Delegation 

The proposal for a plebiscite was regarded by New Delhi as 
fantastic and untenable. Meanwhile a group of fifteen 
members of Parliament, belonging to different shades of 
thought and parties visited Nagaland in February 1965 in 
' order to make a first hand study of the situation there. They 
were given an outstanding welcome both at Ghaspany and 
Thizama. Slogans like "Nagas for Nagaland", "Indian Army 

Peace Talks with the Underground 


Withdraw", "We want Independence", ''Nagaland for 
Nagas" "Leave Nagas Alone" were also raised. The All 
Party ParhamentaryDelegation also saw the Underground 
Army in their full military regalia. They were also ; shown 
iamatic evidences, of the alleged atrocities committed by 
flS J Army on the Naga villages. In a public function 
h s Ddegationwas welcomed by the Vice-President Shri 
mkongmien Ao, and the General Secretary _o f th NNC. 
Shri A P Jain, MP, while thanking them for their welcome 
LTd that they had come on a friendly mission and would 
Take all honest and earnest efforts to arrive at a proper 
Ts essm nt of the situation m Nagaland. The report submit- 
ted by this Delegation stated: "The members of the 
delegation spare no pains in making clear to the hostile 
Nagas and th'eir sympathisers the only solution acc p - 
able to India would be within the India* > Union the : detads 
of which could be worked out at the conference table. The 
r por further stated categorically that the continued suspen- 
s on of operations from 6 September 1964 had been greatly 
appreciated by the Naga people as a whole ^whic us a s trong 
Simony of the earnest efforts towards peace of he 
NagSand Ministers. Their report further emphasised the 
onerous responsibility being shouldered by the Chief Uims- 
ZZ^sJsoi Nagaland through ver> .trying and 
difficult times of brothers fighting agains t ^^Jte 
report appreciated the initiatives taken by *e °uef 
er Shri P Shilu Ao for furthering the cause of peace m the 
area They noted with approval his statement that he wou d 
not mind stepping down from office if it could bring peace 0 
Naglnd. Inits feport the Delegation also mention ed^w * 
regret the machinations of one member of the Peace 
Son in giving currency to unconfirmed ^and provoca ve 
stories of alleged atrocities by the Army on the hostile 
Nagas They L mentioned that they had seen about 600 
Mly armed and uniformed Nagas carrying stenguns, bren- 
guns 303 rifles, and mortars, outside the Thizama village- 
They afeo reported talks about the forced collection of 


Emergence of Nagaland 

money from peaceful villagers, the forcible recruitment of 
school boys and young men into the Naga Home Guards, of 
a group of about 1700 Nagas who went to East Pakistan to 
smuggle arms into Nagaland. 

The Delegation whole-heartedly agreed with the Peace 
Mission that an immediate end be put to the violations of the 
terms of the peace agreement, particularly of the carrying 
and displaying of arms in the villages by the Naga hostiles. 
They also wanted that all such activities which could 
jeopardize the chances of a peaceful settlement must be 
strictly curbed. On the part of the Indian Army, they stated 
that no instance had come to their notice where they had 
violated the terms of the peace agreement. From their side 
the operations continued to be suspended. The Delegation 
however saw a ray of hope in the willingness of the Chief 
Delegate of the Nagas to come to a political settlement 
within the Indian Union. Finally the Delegation stated that 
they were firmly of the view that there could be no solution 
to the Naga problem except within the Indian Union. They 
expressed the hope and trust that the period of bitter 
struggle would soon transform into an era of peace and 
prosperity for the Nagas. 

The Tatar-Hoho, the Underground Naga Parliament 
could not arrive at any decision on the proposals of the 
Peace Mission, particularly the one regarding the Nagas 
voluntary participation in the Indian Union. In order to 
clarify certain points they even held a meeting with the 
Peace Mission at Wokha. Yet, even this meeting could not 
bring about any decision on their part. The dilemma 
confronting the Underground Nagas was that as the Peace 
Mission proposals were widely welcomed by the Nagas 
therefore they could not reject them outright. On the other 
hand, these proposals were unacceptable to them as they did 
not recognise their sovereignty. Finding the Underground 
Nagas caught in a cul-de-sac, Rev Michael Scott decided to 
help them out by internationalising the Naga issue. He wrote 
letters to the Government of Burma and also to the United 

Peace Talks with the Underground 


Nations inviting foreign interference in the Naga dispute. He 
also wrote to Shri Chaliha suggesting that an impartial 
tribunal be appointed who would examine the legal issues 
under dispute and also enquire into the status of Nagaland 
before 1947 in order to determine whether it was a part of 
India or not. Shri Chaliha turned down this suggestion 
because he felt that not only would this serve no useful 
purpose but these delaying tactics would also prolong the 
sufferings of the Nagas. 

Transfer of Nagaland Issue from Extfi nal Affairs 
to the Home Ministry 

On 1 June 1972, the Government of India transferred tne 
Nagaland issue from the Ministry of External Affairs to the 
Home Ministry. 

When the Underground failed to arrive at any decision 
regarding the Peace Mission proposals, they wanted to send 
an emissary to London to seek Mr Phizo's guidance on the 
matter. This task was entrusted to Mr Keviyalley, brother 
of Mr Phizo. He consulted Shri Phizo in London and 
returned to India on 5 September 1965. Mr Phizo had sent 
word that he would not agree to the Peace Mission proposals 
till he had had a personal meeting with the members of the 
Peace Mission. The Underground Parliament met in a 
Special Session from 4th to 6th October 1965, to discuss their 
future plans and stance. They proposed that the next round 
of peace talks be held in London as suggested by Mr Phizo 
through his brother. 

The Government of India did not agree to the proposal of 
sending the Peace Mission members to London to have the 
next round to talks there with Mr Phizo. On the other 
hand, Shri Chaliha, Shri LP. Narayan, Shri Vishnu Sahay, 
Governor of Assam and Nagaland, Cabinet Secretary, Shri 
Dharam Vira, President's Secretary, Shri Gundevia, and the 
External Affairs Secretary, Shri B.K. Kapur, decided that 
the Government of India would have no objection to Mr. 


Emergence of Nagaland 

Phizo's coming to India to talk to the members of the Peace 
Mission. Mr Phizo did not come to India. Thus the 
stalemate continued. 

Disintegration of Peace Mission 

Meanwhile, the activities of Rev Michael Scott were 
attracting vehement criticism from all quarters. It was being 
felt that Rev Scott was taking a very unfair advantage of the 
hospitality and other infrastructure extended by the Govern- 
ment to him. He had free access to the Underground 
and had been holding secret meetings with them in the 
absence of the other two members of the Peace Mission. His 
mischievous proposals on behalf of the Underground pro- 
voked both Shri Chaliha and Shri J.P. Narayan. In his 
exasperation at Rev. Scott's behaviour and actions, Shri 
Chaliha resigned from the Peace Mission. The Peace 
Mission had not been working as a team but had been 
complicating matters and jeopardising all efforts to arrive at 
any solution of the Naga problems. When Shri J.P. Narayan 
made a public statement that the Underground Nagas 
wanted a status similar to that of Sikkim and Bhutan his 
statement was bitterly opposed by the Government as well 
as the Underground Nagas. This also forced Shri J.P. 
Narayan to send in his resignation frOm the Peace Mission 
on 25 February 1966. 

Expulsion of Rev Scott 

Slowly the subversive activities of the hostile Nagas began to 
increase. There were serious rail accidents in Assam which 
were believed to have been engineered by the Underground 
Nagas, and the Assam-Nagaland border became alive with 
incidents of the hostile Nagas, It was widely believed that 
Rev Scott's associations with the Underground were also on 
the increase. In the press, in public meetings, and in the 
Parliament, strong voices were raised demanding the expul- 


Indira Gandhi addressing a public gathering at Kohima 

The author, an Ao tribal chief, the Prime Minister, Shrimati Indira 
Gandhi, and the Governor, Shri B.K. Nehru 

1 1 n i u 1 1 . 1 1 1 tier of the Revolution- 
b ( 1 1 . ii i p surrendering his Light 
Mm lime Gun to the Governor, 
ShriB.K. Nehru 

n,. i i ulerground Commander 
|ullf In having a lively chat with 
1 1 y General after the sur- 
n iider. Mr Zuheto is now a 
Commandant of a B.S.F. 


|H nut lior along with the jawans 
lit (he newly created Naga Regi- 
, ni I he recruits were previous- 
ly Underground 

President of the Naga 
Revolutionary Government, 
Mr Scato Swu, making a spe 
before the surrender. Mr S 
is now an M.P. (Rajya Sabha 

Dr Billay Graham at the 
residence of the author to 
enquire about the welfare of 
author's injured daughter, Mis, 
Kaholi, who was ambushed 
along with the author by 
the Underground 

The Crusade Hall at Kohima 

A trophy for the Sema Women's Association, 
Presented, by Smt. Shitoli Sema (1985) 

I'cace Talks with the Underground 


ion of Rev Scott from India. On 3 May 1966, the 
Government of India served Rev Scott with a two days' 
notice to leave India. He was however invited to give any 
representations against this order if he chose to do so. 
( ommenting on the expulsion of Rev Scott, the Manchester 
Guardian said that Scott had very often shown a lack of 
tactful behaviour and that the Government of India had for 
long shown exemplary firmness in resisting the growing 
demands for his expulsion. Rev Scott decided against 
making any representations about his expulsion and pre- 
pared to leave India. On his way home, on 4 May 1966, in 
Calcutta he told newsmen that he was not trying to 
internationalize the Naga issue, he had never played a 
partisan role, and that the Naga demand for sovereignty was 
a fact from which it was difficult to run away. However, he 
added that the sovereignty which the Nagas wanted did not 
have the usual denotations and connotations associated with 
the word. It was some kind of local sovereignty in which the 
local customs and way of life were preserved as such from 
outside interference. He also clarified that the demand of 
the Nagas for sovereignty was not incompatible with the 
Indian Constitution. 

Contributions of Peace Mission 

After the resignations of Shri B.P. Chaliha and Shri J. P. 
Narayan and the expulsion of Rev. Michael Scott, the 
activities of the Peace Mission died a natural death. After 
several years I happened to be travelling with Shri Chaliha 
and we discussed the working and the achievements of the 
Peace Mission. Shri Chaliha told me that most people 
thought that the Peace Mission was a high-sounding body 
without any programme or achievements. It was felt that 
perhaps all the efforts of the Peace Mission had gone waste. 
I assured Shri Chaliha that the Peace Mission had done a 
commendable job in ushering in an era of peace when 
hostilities and tempers ran very high in the Naga area. Due 


Emergence of Nagaland 

to the efforts of the Peace Mission the tense situation had 
considerably eased and the Naga hostiles had come to the 
conference table. Moreover, the Peace Mission had made 
concrete efforts towards a solution of a very vexed problem 
by drawing up detailed peace proposals for the establish- 
ment of permanent peace in Nagaland. I told Shri Chaliha 
that I was personally very beholden to the Peace Mission 
and their sincere and dedicated efforts for the Naga people, 
especially the villagers, who will always remember their 
efforts with sincere gratitude. Shri Chaliha was happy to 
hear this honest estimation of the work of the Peace 

Chapter 8 


Nehru's Blessings to Peace Mission 

It was generally believed that though Jawaharlal Nehru gave 
all support and blessings to the Peace Mission yet he did not 
have much hope of any settlement as long as there was no 
radical change in the attitude of the leadership of the 
Underground. He told the Lok Sabha that he had met Phizo 
and the Underground Naga leaders about half-a-dozen times 
and each time they had made use of these meetings to 
proclaim it as a conscession to their demands for independ- 
ence. This led to renewed violence. Pandit Nehru told 
the Lok Sabha how the cease-fire had to be extended 
month by month despite its flagrant breach from time to 
time. He also informed the Lok Sabha about the first peace 
parleys on 23 September 1964, in which Scato Swu, the 
President of the Naga Federal Government had sent a 
message saying: "We can give anything to India which she 
requires of us, but our sovereignty we shall not". Pandit 
Nehru mentioned how after the Khensa meeting, the Naga 
National Council (NNC) held its session on 21 May 1965 and 
re-affirmed their faith in the leadership of Phizo, leaving all 
further negotiations to take place between Phizo and the 
Government of India. At this conference the Democratic 
Party of Kevichusa was dissolved in his absence. This was to 
stress the point that the NNC was the sole representative of 
the Nagas whose leader was Phizo and that the existence of 
any other party was irrelevant and damaging to the unity of 


Emergence of Nagaland 

the Nagas. This was their strategy to force the Nagaland 
Nationalist Organisation (NNO), the ruling party, to dis- 
solve itself so as to create a constitutional crisis in Nagaland. 

Peace Efforts by Shrimati Indira Gandhi 

When Shrimati Indira Gandhi became the Prime Minister of 
India she decided to have straight talks with the Naga 
delegation. Accordingly the first meeting between her and 
the Naga delegation was held on 18 February 1966 in New 
Delhi. The Naga delegation was led by Kughato Sukhai and 
comprised Imkongmeren Ao, Vice-President of the NNC, 
Issac Swu, S. Angami and Dallinamo Ao as its .other 
members. In this meeting Kughato asserted that nothing less 
than independence would be acceptable to them. He wanted 
to give the impression that they had come merely to tell 
India to leave them alone. Moreover, the delegation was not 
of one mind nor did they have a similar approach to many 
issues. In fact many of the members of the delegation did not 
trust Kughato very much. They suspected that he might 
make a commitment which would not be acceptable to them. 
As such nothing came out of this meeting. 

Meanwhile the Underground Nagas began making prepa- 
rations to celebrate their 'Republic Dav' on the 22nd of 
March. On 14 March 1966 they requested the Peace Obser- 
ver Team to arrange for a safe passage of their armed forces 
through Kohima to Phezu, a place near Jatsoma, where 
these celebrations were to be held. The Peace Observer 
Team headed by Dr Aram, the Director, visited the site 
which is overlooking the Kohima town. The team then met 
the Governor, Shri Vishnu Sahay and gave him some 
suggestions. The Governor agreed to their suggestions 
which were: (a) The armed personnel of the Underground 
would withdraw from the camp, (b) a token force with arms 
could be allowed to be the guard of honour on the 22nd 
March, and (c) the celebration would be allowed to be held 
at the present site. The Observer Team then went to Phezu to 

/ he Turmoils of a People 


meet Kughato and to get his assurance that the above 
decisions of the Governor would be honoured by the 
I Inderground. These assurances never came. Instead, the 
Underground asserted that no one had the right to decide 
I lie composition of their guard and that in future they would 
discuss this matter with the Prime Minister. 

On the 22nd March, then all the villagers living in the 
villages in the Kohima area were seen making a bee-line for 
Phezu. The Governor imposed curfew in the area. The 
Observer Team protested against this, and their protest was 
genuine as the curfew was observed more in its breach. The 
celebrations were held as planned. After the celebrations 
were over the Governor lifted the curfew. The armed men 
who collected together at Phezu were composed more of 
the Angami and the Chakhesang tribes. Shri Kathing, the 
Chief Secretary, was sure that the Aos and the Semas would 
part company from the Angamis and the Chakhesangs as 
soon as they became aware of Phizo's critical remarks at the 
meeting between Kughato and the Prime Minister of India. 

The second round of talks between the Prime Minister 
and Kughato were held between 9 and 12 April 1966. Phizo 
had again been ignored. Efforts were made by Phizo's 
supporters, especially, Rev. Scott to try to get some promi- 
nence to be given to him. However, Phizo remained in the 
background. Violence again erupted in certain areas of 
Nagaland. As soon as Kughato returned to Kohima, there 
were two very serious explosions, one at the Lumding 
railway station and another at Diphu in Karbi Anglong, 
killing over one hundred innocent persons and injuring many 
more people. Everyone was helpless in the face of such 
activities. The Observer Team could do nothing; the Church 
leaders found that they could exert no moral pressure on the 
Underground; the Army was not allowed to retaliate. These 
violent activities, coupled to the uncertainty of the protracted 
talks at the highest level which were coming no nearer to any 
results, added to the confusion and created a very unfortu- 
nate situation in Nagaland. 


Emergence of Nagaland 

After the second round of talks, Kughato sent a cable to 
Phizo telling him that a solution to the Nagaland problem 
was drawing near. Phizo wanted that a delegation should 
come to meet him in London. Accordingly, Shri Vizol and 
Shri Suisa, a Thanghul, were sent to London. Shri Vizol had 
a very difficult time with Phizo. He tried to impress upon 
Phizo that the situation in Nagaland had undergone a radical 
change. India, he told him, did not interfere in the day-to- 
day administration of the State and the previous elections 
had clearly shown that the democracy in Nagaland was 
without any external pressures. He advised Phizo to pay a 
visit to India and not to stand on prestige. On seeing the 
changed circumstances in Nagaland, Phizo, he thought, 
would have a better idea of the future of Nagaland. While 
Shri Vizol conceded that Phizo's presence during the talks 
would be an important contribution towards lasting peace, 
yet he also pointed out that time and tide waited for no one. 
Phizo was unhappy with the views Vizol had expressed 
though he could not doubt the integrity or honesty of the 
latter. Consequently, Shri Vizol and Shri Suisa returned 
empty handed. 

The double game played by the two underground groups: 
the one led by Phizo and other by Kughato, caused great 
dismay to Shri Scato Swu, President of NFG. Consequently, 
soon after the return of Shri Vizol from London, Shri Scato 
resigned from his position. This brought about many 
changes in the structure of the Underground organisations. 
Shri Scato's position was taken over by Shri Mheshiu, a 
village-mate of Phizo from Khonoma. Kughato however 
continued to be with the federals. Kaito and Zuheto were 
demoted and finally ousted. Kughato was however kept on, 
perhaps because he had some rapport with Prime Minister 
Indira Gandhi. 

The sixth round of talks between the Naga Underground 
and the Prime Minister aroused great expectations and high 
hopes. The Naga delegation had eight members: Chumbe- 
mo Murry Lotha, L. Ramyo, Tankhul from Manipur, Issac 

The Turmoils of a People 


Swu, Maken Ao, Meghemeto, Khondao Lotha, Tselise, S. 
Angami. Kughato fell ill on 1 October 1967, and the meeting 
was held on 2 October 1967. The Prime Minister, Smt. 
Indira Gandhi had asked Shri T.N. Angami, Chief Minister 
and myself to be present at Delhi during the talks. I told Shri 
T.N. Angami that we should issue a statement asking the 
Underground to spell out their stand very clearly as the 
Naga people were getting very anxious at the unnecessary 
delay in arriving at a solution. This statement was issued. In 
it, it was stated that if the Underground Leaders failed to 
make an honest attempt to arrive at a settlement, they would 
be responsible for the consequences. It was only on 5 
October that Kughato could participate in the talks. 
However, during the talks nothing much was said or 
discussed. Only a letter was presented to the Prime Minister 
asking her to reconsider the 14 points already given to her in 
a memo, and to recognise Naga sovereignty. 

The Prime Minister understood the mood of vaccilation of 
the Underground Nagas. They did not appear to be ready to 
discuss anything nor did they want to modify their stand. 
Therefore, when on 6 October 1967 some members of the 
delegation met Shri Dinesh Singh and Shri Surinder Pal 
Singh, Union Ministers in the External Affairs, they were 
told that no useful purpose would be served in their further 
meeting with the Prime Minister. Meanwhile the Russian 
delegation was arriving in Delhi and was scheduled to stay at 
the Hyderabad House where the Naga delegation was 
staying. Therefore, Shri M.L. Kampany, Deputy Secretary 
in the Home Ministry, on being told that the Naga 
delegation was leaving as there were to be no further talks 
with the Prime Minister, told Shri Ramyo that their rooms 
were now required for another delegation. At this the Naga 
delegation took offence and left the next morning. On 
coming back to Nagaland they created a lot of confusion and 
bad blood. On the return of the delegation the Tatar- Hoho 
met from the 14 to 16 October and criticised the Govern- 
ment for not recognising the sovereignty of Nagaland 


Emergence of Nagaland 

despite having had six rounds of direct talks with the Federal 
Government of Nagaland. 

Another fall-out of the abortive talks with the Govern- 
ment was that Kughato Sukhai lost the confidence of the 
Angami group. Mheshiu, who was now the President of the 
NFG in place of Scato Swu declared the formation of a 
Presidential system of Government and dismissed Kughato 
Sukhai. However he retained Kughato in the Consultative 
Committee which he formed with Z. Ramyo, Chumdemo 
Murry, Maken and Tselese, with Ramyo as the ex-officio 
secretary of the committee. The delay in settlement was a 
deliberate strategy for ousting the Sema group from the 
Federal set-up so that Phizo could assert his supremacy. In 
the Ao areas, Phizo had a confidant in Imkongmeren-the 
Vice-President, NNC and in the Lotha area Chumdemo 
Murry was a staunch supporter of Phizo. However, the rift 
between the rival Underground groups continued to widen 
and in 1968 the differences between the Phizo and the Scato 
groups were transparently apparent. 

China Lobby 

The Naga National Council met at Jatsoma on the 17th and 
18th January 1968. Among those present were Imkong- 
meren, Zashie Huire, Jerenkokba, Biseto Medon, 
Kevichusa, Keviyalley, Thinusalie, Chumdemo Murry. 
However, no Underground Sema leader attended this 
conference. Shri Daiho of Mao and Shri H. Hesso were 
special invitees to this conference. The three-point agenda 
of this conference was: (a) Plebiscite under international 
supervision and permanent cease-fire, (b) socialism, and (c) 
communism. Shri Vizol appeared to be the only sensible 
speaker who re jected the untenable demands for a plebiscite. 
He advocated a settling of the problem through negotia- 
tions. On the other hand, Keviyalley supported the demand 
for a plebiscite. 
Regarding the other two items on the agenda, Kevichusa 

The Turmoils of a People 


condemned the idea of a tilt towards China in order to 
secure its support. He said that China would not accept the 
Nagas till they turned communist. Shri Daiho Mao Naga 
supported Kevichusa by saying that China would mortgage 
their souls if they asked for help. The issue of the NNC's 
deliberations of relationship with China and the views of its 
China lobby became a burning topic in Nagaland. The 
Church condemned any such alliance. The NNO, the ruling 
party raised the strongest protest and pointed out that those 
who were not ready for friendship with India on the basis of 
equality, were now thinking of surrendering thought, action 
and homeland to China. This talk of leaning towards China 
was just pressure tactics. It was certain that the Nagas would 
reject the NNC if it voted for communism. 

In the meantime, two large groups of Nagas trained by 
China entered Nagaland. The situation became dangerously 
alarming and everyone knew that peace would be the first 
casualty. Shri T.N. Angami and I met Shri Imkongmeren 
and Z. Ramyo m the Mission House, Kohima. I told them 
that the tactics of delaying matters were creating the 
dangerous situation in Nagaland. I requested them to come 
out and join the State Government of Nagaland in their 
efforts to help the people of Nagaland. But Shri Imkong- 
meren appeared to be adamant and told us that India's 
refusal to accept the Naga demand would go to the benefit of 
someone far away, meaning China. I replied that every Naga 
is expected to work for the peace and welfare of the Nagas 
and should never think of others who create an atmosphere 
of an armed hostility for us. 

On 23 February 1968, Shri Y.B. Chavan announced in the 
Lok Sabha "That in the face of constant efforts by the 
underground to establish contacts with the Chinese and to 
receive arms, a new situation has been created and the 
Government of India would have to look at it from a new 

The activities of Issac Swu and Muivah's spreading the, 
Chinese ideology were not liked by the people. The 


Emergence of Nagaland 

extensive publicity given by the Church against the dangers 
inherent in the Chinese ideology also attracted the attention 
of the youth to this problem. It became widely known that 
General Mowu Angami and Issac Swu, along with a trained 
force of 500 armed desperadoes, were moving towards 
India. Encouraged by this news, the Underground activities 
also increased. In order to prepare for the arrival of this 
force, the Underground started attacking security person- 
nel. On March 9, 1968, the Underground killed three 
security men at the Chobama village. A mother and her 
child were also killed. The China bogey combined with the 
authentic information of armed and trained Nagas entering 
India and the increased activities of the Underground, 
alarmed the Nagaland Assembly. At a session on 28 March 
1968, it adopted a resolution which read: "Some of the 
Underground leaders are now openly advocating commun- 
ism and they are flirting with communist China. This is an 
act of betrayal and treachery against the Naga people and 
hence to be condemned in the strongest terms." 

When a batch of the armed Nagas sneaked through the 
Indian border and reached the Japfu hills above Kohima, 
Kughato and Scato came to Kohima to warn the authorities. 
They feared that any confrontation at this stage would do 
irreparable* harm to the peace prospects. They had also 
openly declared their aversion to the Chinese doctrine and 
their decision to stand against anyone who wanted to impose 
communism in Nagaland. On 6 June 1968, the Army came to 
know that the armed Nagas wanted to seize the Ministerial 
Hill and destroy new Kohima. It was also revealed that Brig. 
Thinuselie was the leader of this armed band. On 7 June 
1968, the Army surrounded the Underground camp situated 
at the top of a cliff and succeeded in capturing arms and 
documents after a stiff resistance. Later on these arms and 
documents were displayed before the Chief Minister, Shri 
T.N. Angami. 

The Turmoils of a People 


Kaito's Murder 

Meanwhile, the fate awaiting Kaito was similar to one meted 
out to T. Sakhrie and many others. Kaito had served Phizo 
very faithfully for thirteen years. Now he had left the 
Underground camp and was working as a negotiator. 
Kughato came to know that the Phizo group was preparing 
to kill Kaito. He told me that he met one Captain of the 
Underground and told him that killings do not lead any- 
where. In spite of this, the very next day, on the 3rd August 
1968, Kaito was killed near Dos & Co. in the presence of 
Kughato. The entire Sema population of Kohima took out a 
protest march and paid glowing tributes to the departed 
leader. Kaito was buried at Zunheboto and people came 
there in large numbers and recited the daring deeds of Kaito 
when he was in the underground. Kaito's murder had come 
about after the Prime Minister had announced that any 
violations of peace would be met with force and that no talks 
would be held with the Underground till they stopped traffic 
with China. Thus, Kaito's murder could lead to many kinds 
of repercussions. This alarmed the Church leaders as well as 
the observer team. They proposed that a conference be held 
so that the effects of Kaito's murder could be minimised. 

On 22 August 1968, a Naga Public Conference was held at 
Kohima. Most of the tribes sent their former or present 
Underground leaders to this conference. In this conference I 
pleaded with the Underground to accept a solution within 
the Indian Union which could ensure the continuity of the 
Naga identity, laws and ways of life. As in the past, this 
conference too failed to arrive at any consensus and set up a 
committee to liaise with the Government of India and to ask 
it to have direct talks with the Underground. This time, it 
was proposed that the direct talks be held, not with that 
Tatar-Hoho or the NFG, but with the political wing, the 
NNC. This meant having talks with Phizo and Imkong- 
meren, the President and Vice-President, respectively, of 
the NNC. 


Emergence of Nagalana 

The special committee led by Vizol, Shaiza, and Vamozo 
came to Delhi. At a preliminary talk with the Foreign 
Secretary, they were told to be specific and clear about their 
stand. Further, they were informed that no further talks 
could be held without the acceptance of two preconditions: 
(a) settlement within the Indian Union, and (b) stoppage of 
all traffic with China and the laying down of arms. 

The month of September of 1968 was the fourth peace 
anniversary month. This year it was full of unfortunate 
incidents. An Indian army Captain Subramaniam along with 
two JCOs was killed by the Underground in the Chazuba 
forest in the Chakhesang area. When the security forces 
tried to comb the area, the Church and the observer team 
intervened, and the Forces were withdrawn. After a period 
of two weeks the badly mutilated bodies of killed officers 
were handed over to General Rawlley, the GOC, Nagaland. 

In the meanwhile, the murder of Kaito was having further 
repercussions. The rift between the Sema fighting group and 
the Phizo group was widening. Scato, Kughato, Zuheto had 
withdrawn from the Phizo group after the murder of 
General Kaito. They set up their headquarters at Satakha in 
the Sema area. They wanted to set up a new political party. 
They also kidnapped Mhesiu and Ramyo, the President and 
Secretary of the NFG just to show them that they could 
avenge the death of Kaito if they wanted. At Satakha on 1 
November 1968, the Council of Naga People was formed. 
The NNC was dissolved as it had failed to arrive at any 
solution of the Naga problem. It was also given out that the 
underground Revolutionary Government of Nagaland was 
willing to accept an honourable place for Nagaland within 
the Union of India. Scato Swu assumed charge of the 
position of Prime Ministership and Kughato became the 
President of the Revolutionary Government. The kidnap- 
ped Mhesiu and Ramyo were released unharmed and sent 
back after giving them due respects. 

The Turmoils of a People 


The 1969 Elections 

The 1969 elections to the Nagaland Assembly were also 
coming near. Political parties began preparing for the same. 
The former Democratic party found itself in a fix. It had 
earlier dissolved its party and had resigned from the 
Assembly so as to play the power game by acting as a 
go-between the Centre and the Underground. Having failed 
in this, they now set up a new political party called the 
United Front of Nagas (UFN). Shri Kevichusa became the 
Chairman, Shri Vizol, Shri Vamozo and Shri Surhouzulie 
were again the moving spirits behind the party. 

In the February 1969 elections, Shri T.N. Angami, Chief 
Minister and I, as the Finance Minister, retained our seats. 
The NNO won 21 seats in Kohima and Mokokchung districts 
and the United Front won only ten. Tuensang with 12 seats 
and all the nine independents joined the NNO. One UFN 
member also left his party to join the NNO whose strength 
rose to 43 in a House of 52. 

B.K. Nehru's Contributions 

I was unanimously elected the leader of the NNO Legisla- 
ture Party. During the Budget Session of 1969-70, while I 
was engaged in deliberations with my ministers late into the 
night, I received word from General Rawlley that General 
Mowu alongwith 200 Chinese trained Nagas had been 
reveived by the Zuheto's group and they were in the Phisami 
Revolutionary Camp. General Rawlley had also received 
orders to surround the Phisami Camp and to attack the 
inmates. He wanted to carry out the orders he had already 
received from his superiors. I told General Rawlley that the 
Army should desist from attacking the Underground people. 
I contacted the Governor, Shri B.K. Nehru, who was in 
Shillong, and asked him to stop the Army operation. He told 
me that I could not countermand the Army order nor could I 
go against the views of the Indian Parliament. I told him that 


Emergence of Nagaland 

the situation was to be handled by me though I had all the 
respects for the Government of India and the Parliament. 
The next day the Governor came to Kohima and we 
discussed the matter together. While going back to Shillong 
he asked me to come along with him so as to help him in 
convincing the Army authorities about our views. In 
Gauhati, Governor B.K. Nehru, General Rawlley, General 
Manekshaw, GOC-in-C, Eastern Command, and I held 
consultations in a specially arranged room at the airport. 
Army Commander General Manekshaw told me right away 
that the civil administration was always interfering in the 
Army plans and later on the civilians expressed their 
helplessness in the face of the worsening situation. He said 
that the civil administration could not do much. He also 
referred to the army officers who were killed in the 
Chakhesang area and when he had wanted to take retalia- 
tory action he had been stopped by the civil government 
with the assurance that the culprits would be handed over to 
the army. However, only the bodies of the killed officers 
were handed over. I could understand the General's 
feelings, yet I told him a story of a Maharajah who took 
great pride in shooting down a lion which had already been 
secured to a bush by his subjects. I told the General that he 
should not behave like the Maharajah. Further, I told him 
that the killing of a few Underground Nagas would not help 
us as the rest would escape and create more political 
confusion and law and order problems. My pleas were so 
vehement and strong that Shri B.K. Nehru took General 
Manekshaw to a corner for a short discussion. I was then 
told that I would be given a chance to handle the situation at 
the Phisami Camp. 

I had undertaken a very heavy responsibility at a very 
great risk. Therefore, I worked without rest or sleep. I sent 
for Scato Swu, Kughato Sukhai and others. Shrj Ihezhe 
Zhimomi, a Minister in my Government, was sent to the 
Phisami Camp with my message to Zuheto to persuade 
General Mowu to surrender. General Mowu sent back the 

The Turmoils of a People 


message saying that his arms should be released to him as he 
wanted to die fighting because he was a soldier. I again sent 
Scato to persuade him to give up his path of confrontation. 
After long persuasions, General Mowu and his men agreed 
and they were taken to the Nowgong Civil Jail in Assam. 
The group included several Sema leaders. I was very grateful 
to the Governor, Shri B .K. Nehru, General Manekshaw and 
General Rawlley for their understanding and help. I was 
also thankful to the leaders of the revolutionary group for 
their sincere help. The work done in this case by Shri Scato, 
Gen. Zuheto, and Kughato Sukhai deserve special mention. 
I was happy that blood was not needlessly shed, that no life 
was lost and all of them were released later after going 
through the due process of law. 

Now the Government of India entrusted the task of 
restoration of peace in Nagaland to Shri B.K. Nehru, 
Governor, and to the State Government of Nagaland. In 
order to sort out matters a meeting between the Under- 
ground and the State Government was planned in Dimapur. 
In this meeting, Shri Nehru put the matter in its right 
perspective when he said: "I have come to inaugurate this 
conference and not to participate in it. And more than that I 
am not representing the Government of India." He also 
sounded a note of warning to the Federal group. He told 
them that their pleas to China to help them should not 
merely be a romantic hope; they should also be prepared to 
face the practical consequences of such a request. He said, 
"When a big power begins to support a small one, that small 
power has already lost its independence." He also said that 
the ceasefire agreement cannot be a one-sided affair. Then 
he left the meeting to the two parties. In this conference 
there were four distinct groups: The State Government was 
represented by me, Shri Chiten Jamir, Shri Kathing, Chief 
Secretary of Nagaland, and Shri A.N. Saigal, Chief Secret- 
ary of Manipur. The Underground was led by their 'Home 
Minister 1 Jerenkokba, Shri Zashie Huire, and Maj. Gen. 
Viyalie. The third group was that of the peace observers 


Emergence of Nagaland 

team represented by Dr Aram. The Church leaders were 
led by Rev. Longri Ao, Shri Kenneth Kerho, and Rev. 
Kejung and others. 

The conference began with Shri Huire's expression of 
disappointment at the fact that they were not talking to the 
representatives of the Indian Government. I told him that 
the Underground would have to talk to the State Govern- 
ment because the ceasefire terms could be ensured only by 
this Government. Dr Aram said that their invitation was to 
the Government of India and not the State Government. 
Then I told Dr Aram that if this was the stance of the 
Underground then I would leave the meeting right away. It 
was then that Shri Huire decided to drop this issue and go on 
to the terms of the ceasefire. 

Shri Kathing, reacting to the accusations and counter- 
accusations of ceasefire violations, said that counting of the 
number of ceasefire violations would serve no purpose and 
that "we have to adhere to all the terms scrupulously." I 
took over the discussion again and said that the ceasefire 
terms had enjoined upon the Underground not to send 
people to China and not to bring in new weapons from 
China. However, the Underground had ignored these terms 
and had chosen to escalate the situation by sending two large 
groups to China. Shri Zashie instead of answering this 
charge, accused the Indian Army of violating the ceasefire 
terms in Manipur, Shri Saigal, Chief Secretary of Manipur 
refuted this charge which was attributed to his area. Again 
such charges and counter-charges began to came up. Dr 
Aram then said, "I suggest that no more Naga army groups 
go to China to bring back arms and those already abroad 
should be called back." I added that those returning would 
be allowed in only if they came back without arms. 
Lungshim Shaiza, Zashie Huire, and Keviyalley supported 
Dr Aram in his proposal that all the Nagas in China be 
allowed to come back unmolested even if they brought arms 
with them. I refused to accept such a condition and Shri 
Kathing added that the influx of arms into Nagaland would 

The Turmoils of a People 


certainly set off trouble and the Army would be forced to act 
to meet this challenge. In order to consider the matter in 
detail the Federal group requested for an adjournment. 

At the next meeting, Shri Keviyalley made an announce- 
ment. He said that the influx of few arms into India should 
not create any panic for India. As they were aware of the 
repercussions, they would be very careful in the use of the 
arms. In order to strengthen Keviyalley 's point, Zashie 
Huire added that the Indian Army was chasing the Naga 
forces. I told the conference that these violations would not 
be allowed and that I took the responsibility for seeing that 
the Army honoured the ceasefire terms. Meanwhile a whole 
series of press notes and their refutations were being issued. 
In one of them Dr Aram described the state Government as 
the delegates of the Indian Government: I had to issue a 
statement refuting this wrong information. Then Dr Aram 
further stated that the Federal representatives had given an 
assurance that arms would not be imported nor would 
people be sent to China for training. Zashie Huire issued a 
counter-statement saying that such an assurance was never 
given. Thus the meeting ended in a fiasco. 

A House Divided 

By now most of the NNO leaders were clear in their minds 
that the divided house of the Nagas was a great obstacle in 
the pathf of any lasting solution for peace. Vizol, Scato, 
Kevichusa, all' believed that the Nagas could themselves 
solve their problems if they got together. The Church 
leaders were also of the same opinion. Everyone felt that 
talks between the Nagas and the Government of India would 
be an exercise in futility without first exploring a common 
meeting ground among all the Nagas. 

The total lack of direction in the Underground outlook is 
clear from the fact that they could not take advantage of the 
open-hearted and generous approach of Smt. Indira Gan- 
dhi, Prime Minister, even though six rounds of talks were 
held with her. The Underground could not learn anything 


Emergence of Nagaland 

from the Indian public opinion which was in favour of a 
settlement within the Indian Union, as indicated by the 
report of the Parliamentary Delegation which visited Naga- 

Lack of coordination, of a proper utilisation of human and 
material resources, of political maturity, all lead to a colossal 
waste in terms of human sacrifice and the reckless destruc- 
tion of natural resources. A land which could contribute a 
new vision, a new strength, a new courage, was being 
systematically destroyed by those who should have held it 
the most dear. 

The NNO 

It was the NNO which gave to the Naga people not only a 
state of their own but also new opportunities for peace and 
prosperity. Those who were the bitter oppenents of the NNO 
now have equal opportunities of participating in the demo- 
cratic set-up of the State of Nagaland. The NNO has brought 
about a change for the better in the lives of the Naga people. 
When I took over the reins of the NNO parliamentary party 
and was made the Chief Minister of the State, I started work 
with a great deal of zeal and confidence. My colleagues in 
my cabinet, Shri T.N. Angami, Shri J.B. Jasokei, Shri R.C. 
Chitan Jamir, Shri Akum Imlong, and Shri Tsenlamo 
Kikon, and others, gave me great respect, support and 
cooperation. It was widely believed that a new chapter iri 
Naga history had opened which would bring peace and 
prosperity to the State, though there was tto political 
settlement with the Underground, yet the peace provided 
opportunities for introducing economic developments. The 
Fourth Five-Year Plan was just beginning arid we prepared a 
strong planning base for this Plan. When we requested the 
Central Government to provide us with strong support for 
our infrastructural expenses as we had to catch up with the 
other states who had already completed three plans, we 
received generous help and support. 

The T urmoils of a People 


The State Government gave top priority to the construc- 
tion of a network of roads. It endeavoured to provide 
transport, hospitals, schools, power and water supply to the 
people. In order to bring about a mood of reconciliation and 
rehabilitation, political prisoners were ordered to be re- 
leased from prisons. Many of them did not grasp the hand of 
friendship extended to them and crossed over to Burma and 
Pakistan. When they tried to return they were arrested. On 
26 March 1970, the Government of India announced in the 
Parliament that in future there would be no direct talks with 
any Underground Naga group on the political issues of 
Nagaland. The state Government was, however, within its 
rights if it chose to contact such groups so as to bring 
normalcy in the State. 

Plans to Eliminate the Chief Minister 

The result of all this was that some of the persons who were 
opposed to my approach and thinking became frustrated and 
started looking for some underhand means to fight back. I 
issued a statement to the Naga people asking them to realise 
their duty: "Let not posterity feel that our generation has been 
unmindful of the future of the Nagas has acted in an 
irresponsible manner." These people now approached the 
Underground to eliminate me. A press correspondent told 
me that reliable sources placed me on the Underground's hit 
list. He asked me what precautions I had taken to fight off a 
possible attack. I told him: "What precautions can save a 
man against determined killers? Hundreds of army men 
have died in Nagaland in spite of all precautions. My sole 
precaution is the blessings of God. If God wants to save me 
who can touch me! When Shilu stood against Phizo, he was 
attacked twice. But God saved him. Shri J.B. Jasokie was 
attacked when he was returning from Church one Sunday 
and his wife was injured. I do not imagine that they would 
spare me if they can, especially now that they are on the run. 
Now they have no ideology to preach, no concession to 


Emergence of Nagaland 

demand; they have only violence." I was determined that 
regardless of the threat to my life I should do something 
concrete for the welfare of my people. 

Independence Day was approaching and I wanted to 
announce the opening of the Kohima branch of the Gauhati 
High Court on that day. This was one of the points in the 
16-Point Agreement with the Government of India. On 8 
August 1972 I was returning from Shillong after having 
discussed the matter with Shri B.K. Nehru, Governor, who 
had accepted my suggestions. With me were my daughter, 
Kaholi and Rev. Kejung Ao. When we were only three 
miles away from Kohima, my car was attacked at close 
quarters. The Underground fired at us from a distance of 
hardly fifteen feet. Immediately I knew that they had come 
for me, and I felt sorry for my daughter and Rev. Kejung 
who were innocent travellers with me. Surprisingly no fear 
came to my mind. I knew that I had done everything out of a 
sense of feeling for my people and nothing out of hatred. I 
had only wanted to serve my people and my state and so I 
had nothing to fear for or repent for. 

The Underground fired more than 100 shots from two 
directions: the left and the behind. They came in three 
waves, with an interval of about ten seconds between each 
wave. The first wave did not hit anyone in the car. I told my 
driver Jhitu to start the ear and as he was doing so the second 
wave of bullets came in. This time my bodyguard Phuken 
and my driver Jhitu were killed. My daughter Kaholi was 
injured. She started crying but I consoled her by telling her 
that we were not alone and that God was with us and would 
save us. In the meantime at least two trucks passed by my car 
and went towards Dimapur. One member of the Under- 
ground even came out on to the road and conducted traffic 
in front of my car, about fifty feet away. Then the rest of the 
Underground fired the third time. Immediately after this 
everything became absolutely quiet for about two minutes. 
Then Shri Tohoshe, a student who was in Rev. Kejung's car 
which was behind us, came up to enquire about us. We then 

The Turmoils of a People 


got into his car and drove straight to the Kohima civil 
hospital for medical aid for my daughter. As the ambush was 
very near Kohima town, many people heard the firing and 
came to see me in the hospital. I greeted them and told them 
not to worry about us who were saved but to think about the 
innocent persons who were needlessly killed in the ambush. 
Later on, it was found that as many as 58 bullets pierced 
through my car and it attracted a large number of visitors 
with curiosity. 

When I reached my residence, Smt Indira Gandhi, Prime 
Minister, called me over the telephone from New Delhi to 
express her concern for me. I told her that such an attack 
was not unexpected and that it was comforting to know that 
my daughter and Rev. Kejung were saved. She offered all 
her help and support to me and asked me what should be 
done. I told her that the Nagas would not support those who 
wanted to re-write the terrible chapter of bloodshed. In 
doing so they would be putting the last nail into their coffin. 

The dastardly attack on me and my party evoked the 
concern of the people of Kohima. Many elders and leaders 
came from several villages to express their sympathies for 
me. People were afraid that in retaliation I might order 
Army operations in the Kohima district. I set their fears at 
rest by telling them that I would do no such thing. On the 
contrary, I said, I needed their help and cooperation in 
putting an end to bloodshed in Nagaland. 

Knowing that the Underground leaders were at their wits 
ends about what to do, I set about seeking the help of 
intermediary agencies to approach them to give up their 
ways and to see the light. The observer team and the Church 
leaders were asked to do this job. While these people were 
trying to bring about peace and goodwill, the Underground 
and the opposition were trying to exploit their sincere efforts 
and designs. Though I was all for rapprochement and 
reconciliation yet I would not tolerate any act of indiscipline. 
Dr Aram, the Director of the Peace Observer Team told me 
that at times he was frightened by my bold utterances. Yet, I 


Emergence of Nagaland 

wanted to gear up the administration and stop indiscipline. 
The opposition found itself deprived of the chance to play go 
between the Government and the Underground. Therefore 
they increased their propaganda against the NNO and began 
using the Underground threats against the Government as 
instances of the division in the Naga people. The formation 
of the Revolutionary Government by Scato Swu and the 
Hongkin Government by Thungdi Chang, were all used by 
the opposition UFN against the NNO as official efforts to 
create divisions among the Naga people. 

Divisions in NNO 

The 1971 Lok Sabha elections were held throughout the 
country in what was considered to be the Indira year. Her 
party won hands down. Yet, despite this wave, the NNO 
candidate Shri S.C. Jamir, Union Deputy Minister for 
Railways, lost to Shri Kevichusa, the UFN opposition 
candidate. The UFN were supported by the Underground 
and campaigned bitterly against Shri Jamir's firm stand 
against political dialogue between the Underground and the 
Government of India bypassing the State Government. My 
strong actions, straightforwardness, and often uncompro- 
mising stand on basic issues of principle also became handly 
tools in the hands of the opposition. 

Meanwhile three seats fell vacant in the Nagaland 
Legislative Assembly, and Shri S.C. Jamir won a by- 
election.' Unfortunately, Shri Jamir was of the opinion that 
he had lost the Lok Sabha elections because I had not helped 
him. He along with some of my colleagues drafted a new 
guideline for the state Government to follow. They wanted 
me to start immediate negotiations with the Naga National 
Council of which Phizo was the President. They also wanted 
that the state Government abjure any talk or connection 
with Scato Swu and the Thungdi Chang groups. In other 
words, they wanted that the Federal Government should be 
considered to be the sole representative of the Underground 

The Turmoils of a People 


Nagas. They also suggested that Phizo and other Under- 
ground leaders who had left the country be helped to return. 
Release of prisoners, resumption of direct talks with the 
Centre and special allocation of funds for the Tuensang area 
were the other main points. 

These guidelines were discussed by the NNO Parliamen- 
tary Party. Due to these guidelines some disturbances were 
also made in the State Assembly, but the efforts of those 
who wanted to start peace talks between the Government of 
India and the NNC did not succeed. The Assembly merely 
resolved that talks be resumed with the Underground Nagas 
in association with leaders of public confidence. Thus the 
dissidents and the opposition could not effect much damage. 

After the Assembly session I called four members of my 
Council of Ministers and told them that as they had tried to 
create political complications inside the NNO party, they 
had no option but to resign. Those who resigned were Shri 
T.N. Angami, Shri Akum Imlong, who were my cabinet 
colleagues, and Shri Weprenyi Kepfo and Shri Tsebongse 
Sangtam, who were Ministers of State in the Government. 

The year 1972 saw many dramatic and even drastic 
changes in the entire North-East region of India. There was 
the independence of Bangladesh with the fall-out of about 
two million refugees from this country. Assam was re- 
organised into Meghalaya, Mizoram, and the Arunachal 
Pradesh. Manipur and Tripura also attained full statehood. 
The main brunt of the refugee influx was borne by Assam 
though Tripura also received its share of refugees. As for 
Nagaland, no outsiders could dare to come in due to the 
inner line system of protection to the Nagas. However, 
Bengali labour was now cheaply available and the noveau 
riche Naga landlords wanted to make the most of this. Over 
5,000 labourers slipped into Dimapur, Nagaland, and on to 
the Nagaland- Assam disputed borders. 

Banning the Underground 
After the attempt on my life, the Governor, Shri B.K. 


Emergence of Nagaland 

Nehru, who had special responsibility over law and order in 
Nagaland went to New Delhi for consultations with the 
Central leaders regarding the Nagaland situation. On 1st 
September, 1972, he announced the banning of the Naga 
National Council, the Naga Federal Government and the 
Naga Federal Army forthwith. The doors for any direct talks 
with the Underground were finally closed by the Central 
Government. This was done after over sixty extensions of 
the ceasefire spread over a period of eight years. 

Before the Peace Observer Team finally ended its functions 
in Nagaland, they gave a parting message to all concerned, 
addressed to the Prime Minister. It said: "We are convinced 
that force or violence can never solve the Naga problem 
which is essentially a political matter." In fact the Nagaland 
problem consists of three important facets-political, human, 
and the law and order problem. The Peace Observer Team 
and the Church leaders could not differentiate between 
them as they were too busy trying to pacify both the sides. 

Christian Centenary Celebrations 

After the three wings of the Naga Underground had been 
banned, the time came for the Ao tribe to celebrate its 
centenary of Christianity. They invited many American and 
other foreign missionaries and dignitaries to attend their 
functions. The Church leaders desired that the time of 
celebrations be not marred by violence, tnerefore they 
approached Underground leaders and received written 
assurances from Shri Zashie Huire, the Angh of Patkoi 
range, that during the month of November 1972 not a single 
shot would be fired. However, this assurance came to a 
nought when on 14th November, 1972, while the centenary 
celebrations were in full swing, the Underground killed one 
jawan of the Army and seriously injured another dozen near 
Zubza on the Dimapuf- Kohima highway. Zashie maintained 
silence over this incident but the Church leaders issued a 
statement saying: "No words can adequately express our 

The Turmoils of a People 


shame and sorrow for what happened this morning." I told 
the Church leaders that this incident once again confirmed 
the view that there was a deep cleavage between what the 
Underground said and what it did. The five long years of 
preparations for this historic function of thanks-giving were 
spoiled and abused by this incident. 

Dr Graham's Visit 

During the same month, Dr Billy Graham, the famous 
American evangelist was invited by the Nagaland Baptist 
Council to address a Christian crusade in Nagaland. Dr 
Graham and his party arrived at Kohima on 20th November, 
1972. His coming was celebrated by the Underground by 
firing at a road protection party near Khuzama, the last 
Naga village on the Kohima-Imphal road. The security 
personnel near Chakhabama were also fired at by the 
Underground. When the great Christian Preacher was 
leaving after the crusade, the Underground resorted to firing 
just five kilometres from Kohima. One member of the Party 
is reported to have said: "They do not know what they are 
doing. May God give them wisdom." It was also reported 
that Dr Billy Graham was requested to bless the ceasefire 
and also to ask India to restart peace talks with the 
Underground. Dr Graham is reported to have replied: 
"Gospel yes: politics no." During his stay at Kohima, Dr 
Graham also visited my daughter Kaholi who was injured in 
the ambush laid for my life. He blessed her and wished her 
health and long life. He said that human sufferings do not go 
unrewarded, more so when innocent blood is spilled. 

Loss of Public Confidence 

After the banning of Federal factions, one clear picture has 
emerged. This is that apart from sporadic incidents, the 
Underground have lost its zeal and also the halo which 
surrounded it. The public had been alienated by the 


Emergence of Nagaland 

disturbances they had tried to create during the sacred 
crusade month in November. Through these actions they 
had also destroyed the moral backing provided to them by 
the Peace Observer Team as well as the Church leaders. Now 
they were isolated and alienated. The State Government left 
them to their fate at the hands of the law and order 
machinery of the State and set itself to accelerate the pace of 
the economic developments in Nagaland. 

Chapter 9 



Nationalism is devotion to one's nation. A nationalist is a 
supporter of nationalism, an advocate of national rights, 
freedom and independepce. It is an aspiration of certain 
distinct race or people, characterized by common descent, 
language or history, living or occupying a definite territory 
and united in character and manners not by regulation of 
laws but by uniformity of life and food and common 
influence of climate. This intense national feeling or national 
aspiration of the people living in a fixed territory must be 
capable of eliciting the commitment of people to its 
preservation as a separate identity in relation to other 
territorial units. Nationalism provides enduring quality to the 
bonds of a divine quality of cohesion in the midst of all the 
discordant elements a society may contain. 

Indian nationalism is clearly understood and expressed by 
Jawaharlal Nehru, our first Prime Minister, "I know there is 
India, but I want to know where are the Indians?" In fact 
when we talk of nationalism we talk of sub-nationalism like 
Assamese, Bengali, Punjabi or Madrasi. This puts a 
question to us, how deep is our nationalism? Nationalism 
depends on the intensity and strong feelings for the national 
unity and national welfare. 

In order to strengthen this national unity, Pandit Jawahar- 
lal Nehru called national integration council and a national 
policy was adopted in 1968: "The foundation of our national 
life is common citizenship, unity in diversity, freedom of 


£f»..r»af»ce of Nagaland 

religion, secularism, equality, justice social, economic and 
political and fraternity among all communities." Political 
unity which aimed to increase the sense of Indianness, owe 
loyalty to India and regard ourselves as Indian first, Indian 
second and Indian last. 

Sub-Nationalism within Nationalism 

However, a broad, liberal, federal-political spectrum of 
India permits full scope for the flourishing and flowering of 
the traits of sub-nationalism within a nation. In this 
federalistic, pluralistic approach, sub-nationalism is not to 
be frowned upon, but is rather to be regarded as a 
legitimate-expression and a desirable manifestation of cultu- 
ral, ethnic and political identities. 

According to the Encyclopaedia of Social Sciences, 
sub-nationalism involves such diverse problems of modern 
political and cultural life as those of minorities, administra- 
tive decentralisation, local-self government, autonomy, cult 
of homeland, and local patriotism rooted as much in history 
as in current aspirations for betterment and development. It 
becomes complicated only where there is a combination of 
such factors as geographical isolation, independent historical 
traditions, ethnic, racial or religious peculiarities and local 
economic or class-interests. 

Sub-nationalism, thus, is a multi-dimensional phe- 
nomenon, wherein the basic issue is not sub-nationalism 
versus nationalism but one of right ordering of loyalties 
between the sub-national and the national identities so that 
they enrich, support and strengthen each other. 

Naga Sub-Nationalism 

The Naga sub-nationalism emerges out of a strong desire 
and common sentiments of belonging to a common family of 
Nagas. It comes out of their feelings for consolidation of all 
Naga tribes near and far under one compact administration. 

The Naga Sub-Nationalism 


The coming of the British administration brought about a 
gradual consolidation of this largely isolated tract inhabited 
by different Naga tribes. The British administration broke 
down the barriers confronted by the topographical hazards 
and the tribe to tribe isolation and opened up new avenues 
for the understanding of integration both on social and 
political levels. This desire or intense feeling for all the Naga 
tribes to live under one political roof has been achieved 
partially by granting a separate statehood in India. There 
are Naga tribes almost equal in area and in population still 
living outside Nagaland. 

The feelings of the Nagas were understood by Jawaharlal 
Nehru and as the Congress President, he wrote a letter to 
Shri T. Sakhrie Angami, Secretary, Naga National Council 
on 1st August 1946 in which he said, "I am glad that the 
Naga National Council stands for the solidarity of all the 
Naga tribes including those who live in the so-called 
unadministered territory." But he also added, "'it is obvious 
that the Naga territory in Eastern Assam is much too small 
to stand by itself politically or economically. It lies between 
two huge countries India and China and part of it consists of 
rather backward people who require considerable help. 
When India is independent as it is bound to be soon, it will 
not be possible for the British Government to hold on the 
Naga territory or any part of it. They would be isolated there 
between India and China. Inevitably, therefore, this Naga 
territory must form part of India and of Assam with which it 
has developed such close association. At the same time it is 
our policy that tribal areas should have as much freedom and 
autonomy as possible so that they can live their own lives, 
according to their own customs and desires. Thus the 
solution would be that the Naga territory should be an 
integral part of Assam province and yet should have a 
certain measure of autonomy for its own purposes." 

How this should be worked out is a matter of further 
consideration between the peoples concerned. So far as I 


158 Emergence of Nagaland 

can see, there is no reason why there should be any 
excluded area apart from the rest. The whole Naga 
territory should go together and should be controlled in a 
large measure by an elected Naga National Council. At 
the same time the Nagas should have representatives in 
the Assam Province Assembly and should participate fully 
in the life of the Province. 

I agree entirely with your decision that the Naga hills 
should constitutionally be included in an autonomous 
Assam in a free India with local autonomy and due 
safeguards for the interests of the Nagas. 

As for separate electorates for the Nagas, I am not clear 
in my mind as to how this will work. Generally speaking, 
we are against separate electorates as these limit and 
injure the small group by keeping it separated from the 
rest of the nation. But if the Naga territory is given a 
measure of autonomy, some arrangement will have to be 
made for their proper representation. 

As I have said above the excluded areas should be 
incorporated with other areas. It may be that certain 
special provisions for their protection and development 
will be made. I should like them to be treated as part of 
the entire Naga territory. 

I see no reason whatever why an extraneous judicial 
system should be enforced upon the Naga hills. They 
should have perfect freedom to continue their village 
panchayats, tribal courts etc. according to their own 
wishes. Indeed it is our wish that the judicial system of 
India should be revised giving a great deal of powers to 
village panchayats. 

About the unadministered territory which still contains 
according to you, a number of head-hunters, I cannot 
definitely say how soon and in what manner it should be 
brought into the province. That is to be decided in 
consultation with the people concerned. Naturally some 
special provision will have to be made to develop these 

The Naga Sub-Nationalism 


I have quoted Jawaharlal Nehru's letter to the Naga 
National Council because his understanding of Naga minds 
was superb, and his sincere and frank advice was so 
valuable. Those days whatever he said was almost the law. 
His desire to allow the numerous Naga tribes to live together 
under one common political roof in India was possible. Even 
the Naga contiguous areas, in Burma, could have been 
negotiated and it was not very impossible. Jawaharlal Nehru 
even invited the Prime Minsiter of Burma, U Nu and they 
visited Kohima in 1953. Knowing the sympathy and under- 
standing of Nehru, the Nagas could have availed this rare 
opportunity to bring the Naga areas of Burma to India. 
Unfortunately the Nagas boycotted this meeting at Kohima. 

A Distinct Identity 

The Naga tribes occupy a unique and compact geographical 
territory in between China, Burma and India. At present 
they are distributed and tagged with different states like 
Nagas in Tirap in Arunachal Pradesh, the Tangkhul Nagas 
and Mao Nagas in Manipur State and the Zemis, the 
Liangmais, the Rongmais etc. in Assam State besides the 
various Naga tribes in Burma. They have distinct identity of 
their own whether in India or in Burma. The Nagas have 
great sense of self-discipline, spirit of sacrifice for their 
villages and tribes, their love and respect for their customs 
and traditions. They are straightforward and have dignity 
and self-respect. Voluntary labour for community is treated 
as personal by every body. This enthusiasm to work 
collectively for the good of the community as a whole and 
their spirit of adventure inspire in them a feeling of oneness, 
solidarity and unity. 

There are several hostile groups working against this 
division of Naga tribes. They want all these numerous Naga 
tribes inhabiting in different areas of India and Burma 
should be brought together. It is well known that the 
National Socialist Council of Nagaland and the Naga 
National Council both are operating their insurgencies in 


Emergence of Nagaland 

between Burma and India. They used to obtain arms 
and training from China. Over and above these two 
underground hostile groups, there is an overground pro- 
Phizo group still working actively re-organising the ex- 
underground to keep the name of Phizo alive. They are also 
trying their best to convince the Naga public that the Indian 
leaders like Mahatma Gandhi and Rajagopalachari had once 
agreed and supported the Naga Independence. They quoted 
that a Naga delegation met Mahatma Gandhi on 19 July, 
1947 in Delhi in which Mahatma Gandhi is supposed to have 
said, "Nagas have every right to be independent. We, in 
India did not want to live under the domination of the 
British and they are now leaving us; I want you to feel that 
India is yours, I feel that the Naga hills are mine just as much 
as yours, but if you say it is not mine then the matter must 
stop there. I believe in the brotherhood of man, but I do not 
believe in force or forced unions. If you do not wish to join 
Indian Union, nobody will force you to do that." They also 
say that when a Naga delegation met His Excellency 
Rajagopalachari, the then Governor General of India at 
Shillong on 28th November, 1947, he said, "India wants to 
be friendly with you. India do not want to deprive the Nagas 
of their land. Nagas are of full liberty to do as they like, 
either to become part of India or be separated if that would 
be best for the interest to be isolated." These movements 
are kept alive with the active cooperation and support of the 
Naga people living in very backward and undeveloped areas 
of Burma and India. These militant movements, operating 
between two International borders where no modern 
developments exist, cannot be brought under the control of 
any authority easily. To control such a movement, the first 
priority is development of roads on both sides of the 
International border but it will require many years for both 
India and Burma to develop these areas because of the 
distance and the difficult terrain. These various insurgents' 
problems have to be handled firmly but tactfully. They have 
to be handled through political negotiations as well as 

7/je Naga Sub-Nationalism 


economic developments. However hard the problems may 
be, once these insurgents are brought to the mainstream of 
national life, they can strengthen the national fibre and the 
nation can be proud of them. 

This is the crux of the problem of management of 
sub-nationalism in India, to the resolution of which the 
political elite, administrators and educationists have to join 
hands and work in right spirit, and with foresight, imagina- 
tion, skill and tact. 

Any meaningful and purposive analysis of contemporary 
political history of Nagaland should start on the note that 
Nagaland is a mingled profile in ethno-nationalism and 
sub-nationalism as an integral part of Indian nationalism. 
Adoption of such an approach facilitates an understanding 
of the political reality in Nagaland, and a fair comprehension 
of social, economic, political, cultural, demographic, racial 
and religious landscape of the region. Such an exercise, 
moreover, will accentuate full participation of Naga people 
in the mainstream of national life. 

It is. thus, necessary to discard the notion that sub- 
nationahsm is necessarily separatist or unpatriotic and poses 
threats to national integration. Sub-nationalism may be an 
important factor in political arrangements in a democracy 
such as India, and it may be conducive as much to 
nationalism as to sub-nationalism. Sub-nationalism in India 
manifests the genuine democratic ethos of the country and 
needs its proper accommodation in the Indian federalism. 

Unity in Diversity 

Indeed India's composite culture has been a shining example 
of unity jn diversity. Throughout centuries the country 
witnessed assimilation and cross-fertilisation of diverse 
cultures. The spirit of concord and consensus and tolerance 
has been an integral part of the Indian culture. Individuals, 
groups, regions and communities have, over centuries, 
existed in a state of functional equilibrium, contributing to 


Emergence of Nagaland 

the health and vigour, perfection and welfare of one another 
and of the whole cultural stream. Their harmonious rela- 
tionships don't envisage the sublimation or sacrifice of one 
for the other, rather, they exist conjointly in an integral, 
organic whole in which the limbs or parts are as much real as 
the whole, and in which neither the whole can be conceived 
without the parts, nor the latter as divorced from the whole. 

It is also worthwhile to realise that in many of the 
developing nations, the problem of political sub-culture is of 
major importance, and requires to be treated imaginatively. 
Moreover, the ethnic-cum-economic consideration of sub- 
nationalism is an important factor in Nagaland. 

A combination of multiple factors has, in the past, made 
the task complicated in North-East region of India in general 
and Nagaland in particular. Competent observers of the 
scene trace the uneasiness among the people of the 
North-East to a variety of factors such as neglect, non- 
recognition of their aspirations, non-recognition of their 
right to protect their own identity and heritage and the fear 
that they were being treated as inferiors to the rest of India. 

Participation in the National Mainstream 

The different tribes inhabiting Nagaland were scarcely 
touched by the national movement and initially many of 
them had practically no conception of loyalty to the nation.. 
The spirit of patriotism will have to be planted, manured and 
watered by sustained but cautious efforts among the people 
of this area. 

Integration is a process, a growth and a development. 
National building and national integration imply a long 
complicated process. They involve not mere political in- 
tegration, but an integration of the whole society, its 
economy, politics, education and culture. It entails evolu- 
tion of a nexus of national ethos that permeates the life and 
thought, conduct and behaviour of the people belonging to 
different castes, communities, tribes and regions. This 

The Naga Sub-Nationalism 


inevitably implies long periods of reconstruction and re- 
juvenation of the myriad aspects of the life of a nation. Thus 
the problem of national integration is One that reouires to be 
approached from many directions. As the experiences of 
national integration in the countries of the West evidence 
there can be no short-cuts to it. 

While the foregoing considerations set the general prob- 
lems and prospects of Nagas' participation in the national 
mainstream, it would be desirable and necessary to outline 
ihe patterns of such a participation under the democratic 
Indian political system. The Preamble of the Indian Con- 
stitution declares India as a Sovereign, Democratic, Secular 
and Socialist Republic and guarantees to all its citizens (a) 
justice, social, economic and political; (ft) liberty of thought 
expression, belief, faith and worship; (c) equality of status 
and opportunities; and (cf) fraternity, assuring the dignity of 
the individual and the unity of the nation. The Directive 
Principles of State Policy lay down certain guiding principles 
for governance of the state and the fundamental rights. India 
is a federal, cooperative commonwealth wherein all states 
and all citizens are equal participants, and share common 
national values, goals and beliefs. Through the institution of 
periodic elections, based on universal franchise for the 
bodies from the villages to the State Assemblies and 
1 arhament, it has been sought to expand political participa- 
tion in order to foster national integration, political legiti- 
macy and institutional capacity. 

The inauguration of N agaland as the sixteenth state of the 
Indian Union on 1st December, 1963 marks the beginning of 
a new era in the political evolution of Nagaland. It not only 
introduced the long sought-after and much needed period of 
peace and peaceful development but what is of crucial 
importance is that it brought the brave, proud and sturdy 
people of Nagaland irrevocably within the national main- 
stream and thus within the processes of nation-building, 
national integration, modernisation and political develop- 
ment, shoulder to shoulder with the different peoples 
constituting the Indian nation. 


Emergence of Nagaland 

Along with the rest of the country, the people of Nagaland 
have been participating in the elections to the State 
Assemb.y and Lok Sabha, and thus have been growingly 
affirming their faith and confidence in democratic 
frameworks. Political socialisation in the state has pro- 
ceeded at a fast rate, resulting in inter-tribe contacts and 
communications which is a healthy sign from the point of 
view of nation-building and national integration. 

There are other vital forces such as education, com- 
munication, transportation and economic growth which 
foster participant citizenship in Nagaland. The development 
of any political system depends upon the relationship 
between political institutionalisation and political participa- 
tion. It is only when participation expands the capacity oj 
political institutions to absorb change increases so as to make 
the system stable. 

The spread of the modern system of education, fast- 
growing means of communication and transport, and various 
development activities have tended to demolish traditional 
barriers and isolations and are facilitating the growth of 
modern outlook based upon rationalism, liberty, equality 
and fraternity. These are invaluable developments in the 
direction of making Nagas at one with the whole nation. 

The Planning Commission, the National Development 
Council, the National Integration Council etc., are other 
institutions through which "Nagaland, like other states, 
participates in the task of horizontal Integration of the 
nation, that is nation-building but in order to make these 
important institutions more meaningful and real to Naga- 
land, the State has to be more actively associated with the 
decisions making processes in these bodies through auto- 
nomy in the formation of realistic plan based upon local 
conditions and requirements. There may also be a valid case 
for more administrative and political devolution of power to 
the. organs of -state power from top to bottom. This will 
further strengthen the Nagas' bonds of union with India. 

Slowly but surely, in the course of last two decades 

The Naga Sub-Nationalism 


Nagaland has been, increasingly and perhaps with cautious 
confidence and optimism, drawn to the National mainstream 
but the task is by no means complete and much needs to be 
done. The true spirit of nation-building is the creation of a 
new sense of community and common destiny among all 
states and their citizens. 

In a tradition-bound state like Nagaland, inhabited by 
different tribes, the task of modernisation which alone can 
provide real political participation to its people, is strewn 
with delicacies and complexities. Undeniably in this task 
education, modern means of transport and communication, 
economic growth and development etc. have to play a 
crucial role. 

Partners in the Indian Federalism 

It is through these concrete devices, rather than through 
theorising and sermonising, that the Nagas can become 
effective partners in the Indian Cooperative federalism 
However; in this endeavour certain pitfalls have to be 
avoided. It has to be remembered that the traditional 
sources of identity have not to be abandoned immediately, 
for this unnecessarily creates an apprehension and a 
fear-complex among the Naga tribes; rather traditions, 
customs and beliefs have to be slowly transcended through 
modernisation and acculturation. Ideology, perhaps com- 
bining elements of tradition and modernity, may be the 
proper instrument for the creation of a new political culture 
of shared values, common goals, and a minimum consensus 
as the institution of conflict resolution. 

The process involved is one of social mobilisation, which 
will slowly transform the traditional society through the 
application of science and technology, expansion of com- 
munication and transportation facilities, and hightening of 
political competition and political participation so that more 
and more people become participants in the democratic 
process arid at the same time, become more highly sensitive 


Emergence of Nagaland 

to the poverty in which they live. This in turn will stimulate 
them to think about and act for a happy and prosperous 
future in unison with the rest of the country. 

In keeping with these formulations, it would be desirable 
to reinvigorate and resuscitate the traditional institutions oi 
village councils to which all the tribes in Nagaland have been 
accustomed for centuries for these can be viable, profitable, 
and easily understandable instruments of democracy at the 
grassroots level and of participatory democracy. 

Local Self-Government 

The Constitution of the Indian Republic has directed the 
states to organise village panchayats and to endow them with 
such power and authority as may be necessary to enable 
them to function as units of local self-government. The aim 
is to foster domocratic participation, to involve villages in 
development effort and to ease the administrative burden on 
the states. Institutions of local self-government are to be 
both instruments Of economic development and social 
change and agents of community mobilisation. They are 
intended to stimulate participation and provide channels for 
meaningful political expression. Community Development 
Programme is moulded in this vision. Moreover, through the 
institution of the Panchayati Raj the process of decision- 
making is being brought closer to the people. It was created 
in many states in the country to enhance capacity of local 
government for economic development and to expand 
democratic participation in the rural areas. The two were to 
advance together as participation was channelled into the 
work of community development. The strong traditions of 
village councils in Nagaland, which worked through a sense 
of the meeting and continuing discussion until a consensus 
was reached, can well be made a launching pad for political 
participation, social change and economic development. 
Democracy and development are closely intertwined. 

Chapter 10 


A Democratic Society 

The traditional Naga society has been democratic from the 
very beginning. It is casteless and classless. The untouch- 
ables are non-existent and unknown in Naga society. Among 
the numerous Naga tribes, the political power rests with the 
people. It is republic in character in most of Naga tribal 
societies. There are a few exceptions, notable of them are 
the Konyak and the Sema tribes. The Konyaks have Angh 
(the Sovereign). The Anghs of Mon and Chui have many 
villages with smaller Anghs under them. They exercised 
sovereignty over those villages with smaller Anghs. These 
Anghs are advised by their ministers in their decisions. 
These ministers are selected by the Anghs from various clans 
of the village. Similarly among the Semas, there are Kukami 
(the Ruler). These rulers are more or less confined to their 
villages and generally, they have no control over other 
villages. The decisions of these rulers are made on the advice 
of their ministers called Chochomi, selected by Kukami 
from various clans or families in the village. Though the 
position and the rank of the rulers is protected and kept in 
high esteem, the actual function in decision-making depends 
largely on the representatives of the people. These Anghs 
among the Konyak tribes and Kukamis among the Semas 
are hereditary chieftainship. In the case of all other tribes, 
the village government is set up consisting of representatives 
of the clans, the khels and the families of the village. Its 


Emergence of Nagaland 

members are selected by consensus of the respective clans 
arid the members hold office for a certain limited period. 
Decisions are generally made unanimously or on major 
opinions of the members present in the meeting. 

These rulers have some personal distinction acquired by 
them through their performances of sacrifices and good 
judgments. They also have a great economic power and 
their capacity to help the poor and the needy in the village is 
greatly appreciated. They provide food, shelter and clo- 
things for the rieedy in any emergency. It is a great shame for 
the rulers if their subjects go to Other villages for food. It is 
the duty of these rulers to ensure the security and welfare of 
their subjects. AH disputes are settled by the rulers assisted 
by the ministers and elders Of the village. All cases are 
disposed of by fneans of compensation. These compensa- 
tions are paid either in cash or in kind. The greatest 
punishment is the ex-communication or exile from the 
village for certain period. No capital punishment is given 
and there is no imprisonment. These rulers assisted by 
council Of ministers or elders decide the right of making war 
and peace with neighbouring villages. Open war is declared 
when the village territory is encroached by neighbouring 
village of when a villager was killed by other village. Slavery- 
is not krtdwn in Naga society with the exception of those 
captured from enemy villages during the war. Forced labour 
was Used sparingly. 

Land Belongs io the Chiefs and Clans 

The right to possess land starts from the beginning Of the 
establishment Of village. All the expenses and initiatives fof 
th'e establishment of a village are taken and borne by the 
proposed chief and his deputy, the rest, any number of 
families ate fnere followers of the chief artd the deputy or 
deputies. The land cultivated by the chief and his followers 
will belong to the chief. Similarly, the land cultivated by the 
deputy and his followers will belong to the deputy. This is 

Democracy unci Development 169 

l he beginning of the system of land holdings among the 
Somas-. Every year this system continues and the land for 
•cultivation is distributed by the chief and his deputy to the 
families. This system still prevails in Soma society and thus 
the concentration of land is seen with the chief and his 
deputies in the Soma area. The allotment of land for 
cultivation ever_\- year is done on a festival day called Tuluni. 
This is the biggest festival among the Sema tribes connected 
for the good and prosperous harvest. Gifts are given to the 
chiefs and his deputies as mark of respect and loyalty. No 
money is paid for the land for cultivation. Besides this, the 
chiefs and deputies are entitled to some fixed days labour 
from their subjects, not more than twelve days in a year, in 
one village. Land records are not maintained but known by 
the chiefs and their deputies b\ fix ins; intermittent boundary 
stones and natural boundaries. These cultivators on the 
land of the chiefs and their deputies become more or less 
permanent tenants. Every cycle of cultivation, the land 
cultivated by a particular family is generally given to that 
family. This is why there is no government land but all lands 
were owned by the public ahd clans m Nagaland. 

Aw I >mi tilt pRii s i s 

In Naga societies, invariably there are priests clans called 
A worn i til Sema tribes and Pbrtgener in Ao tribe and so on. 
These priests performed rites in all ceremonies and festivals 
of the villages. They are highly respected in societies and 
they are placed second to the chiefs in societies. They also 
foretell the future events and thus guide the life of the 
village: The chiefs and their deputies enjoy a position of high 
authority and dignity. All decisions are oral orders of the 
rulers and their ministers. 


During the British rule over Naga hills, more than half a 


Emergence of Nagaland 

centurv thev popularised and gave great importance to 
these existing local authorities. They even went one step 
more and established a class called Dubashi (interpreter) 
selected from among the rulers and chieftains. The primary 
functions of these Dubashis are to interpret the various Naga 
dialects into Assamese which the British officers knew. But 
araduallv these Dubashis were given power to decide cases. 
Some of these Dubashis became very famous. In preference 
to the customary laws, they were allowed to establish 
Dubashi courts in District and Sub-divisional headquarters 
at Kohima and Mokokchung etc. Cases which could not be 
settled in the village level were brought to these Dubashi 
courts and were decided according to customary laws of the 
particular tribe. The British administrators generally con- 
firmed the decisions of these Dubashi courts and did not 
encourage appeals. The Dubashis were allowed to go out on 
tour to various areas of the district and settle cases regularly. 
Thev also accompanied the British administrators who 
visited their area of administration once a year and assisted 
them in deciding cases. This system was popular till the 
Second World War. ! 

Village Councils 

After the Second World War ended at the battle of Kohima 
in April 1945. the Naga National Council tried to bring 
uniformity into the administration. The village councils 
which existed in many villages were introduced m all the rest 
of the villages. All male adults in the village would meet and 
select the council member. No political parties existed ana 
selection of members was done by general consensus. The 
next level was the Range Councils, now called Area 
Councils. Each range had a council whose members were 
selected and sent bv village councils. The third level was the 
District Council, which is called the Regional Council. Its 
members were selected bv Area Councils. These various 
councils were to take up development works of their areas 

Democracy and Development 


like roads, irrigation, forest, schools etc. But so far they 
were not delegated any financial powers. 

The system of Anghship in Konyak area and Rulership in 
Sema tribe is declining and will ultimately be replaced by the 
council system. But the influential Anghs and Kukamis will 
still play an important role in the various councils because 
some of them are still popular and well-to-do in their 
societies. The council system in Nagaland has not been given 
due attention by the Government but it has to be streng- 
thened in order to give direct participation of the people in 
the running of the administration for strengthening of the 
democratic function of the government. In recent years, the 
Naga National Democratic Party (NNDP) government has 
introduced a very practical and good scheme in the village 
council. In this scheme, the village development fund was 
created by raising fund from each family of the village and 
government has sanctioned a matching grant. This money is 
deposited in the bank. The priorities of the development 
projects are decided by the village council and government 
gives them technical assistance.' 

The council system is a surer way to inculcate self- 
confidence in the people. It gives them opportunities and 
their resources to manage their affairs themselves. They also 
get training for the task and in this manner create and 
strengthen the foundation of democracy. These Village, 
Area and Regional Councils should be allowed to collect 
local taxes to augment their resources for development of 
their areas and government should sanction matching grant 
and also assist them to procure loans. These Councils should 
be allowed to run primary schools, handicraft industries, 
forestry, roads and irrigation etc. 

In Nagaland even the members of the State Assembly 
which is the final level can be selected by the Regional 
Councils. Till recently this system was practised in Tuensang 
district. Diffusion of power is necessary for development and 
for speedy progress of the state. This system will reduce the 
increasing expenses of election and minimise the corrup- 


Emergence of Nagaland 

tions This is necessary for a good society based on faith in 
each other and in common values. This does not in any way 
hamper the power of the State Government rather helps the 
progress and thereby good government. This system is to 
give initiative in deciding priorities in planning and develop- 
ment They are to work within the framework of economic 
policies decided by the Planning Commission of the country. 
This is an effective way to organise society for not only rapid 
economic development in a humane way but make them 
active partners in the mainstream of national lite. 

Working of Democracy 

Nagaland has experienced five intensely contested state 
elections with three yfears of Presidential Rule. During these 
twenty years of democratic experience, no satisfactory 
economic base was built and no areas of economic activities 
were established. In every election the voters look forward 
to the solution of their economic problems at the hands of 
the men they have elected to the authority. Every man 
contesting these elections has pledged to his voters, to bring 
economic justice to the poor by means of legislation and also 
through bureaucratic protection. But as the years go by,we 
see gradual economic disparities and more tensions, this 
trend must be checked in time. This can be done by giving 
special attention to divert the population back to self- 
reliance on their economy and divert their attitude to 
self-reconstruction and maintain old Naga traditional pride 
ort the human values arid honours. 

Functioning of political parties based On adult franchise 
have divided the village community on interest lines. It is 
difficult if not impossible to do away the numerous tribal 
interests in Nagaland. Many national programmes and 
valuable and important projects have been neglected and 
sometime abandoned or sold out because of different 
political interest lines and thus brought a great loss to the 
State exchequer. Construction Of roads and irrigation 

Democracy and Development 


schemes which are vital for the people are neglected and 
abandoned in many places. The society of tribal life will 
continue whatever political parties may be there in the 
country. But the main concern is what is suited to the 
background of the social life of these tribes. We must first 
know the tribal way of life and then provide them a secured 
psychological and social anchorage. This must be done by 
giving them functional place like the council system. Under 
this system, the taxpayer can understand what the local 
authorities at different levels are doing with what he is 
paying. With gradual increase in powers, these councils will 
be abfe to make rural areas and its towns more attractive and 
check educated people from migrating to the cities. 

The Naga citizens have shown alertness and exercise 
control and influence on their elected representatives and 
are able to secure their responsiveness. They scrutinise the 
performance of their elected leaders and put pressure on 
them to explain their public conduct and compel them to 
heed citizens demands. In several elections, we have seen, 
many elected leaders are turned out of office if their public 
conduct is not up to their expectations. Nagaland shall soon 
have the public watchdogs like social workers, lawyers, 
retired civil servants and journalists. Even now, the elders 
meetings of the various tribes are working as watchdogs of 
the public. A mature electorate together with its elite, 
deeply committed to the goal of the welfare of the common 
man can provide the necessary driving force for building a 
just and stable society and a good and responsible Govern- 

Economic Backwardness 

The grant or establishment of small states and Union 
Territories in India are done with a view that smaller states 
can be developed at a faster rate and attained greater 
administrative efficiency. It also provides such states the 
scope for development in terms of their own resources, 


Emergence of Sngnkwd 

aspirations and level of development. In Nagaland, econo- 
mic development is far behind other states including Union 
Territories, in India. The basic reason for backwardness is 
due to many reasons: (i) ignorance of utilisation of the 
available resources; (ii) the soil is fertile, climate is moderate 
but the land utilisation is not on scientific lines: (Hi) 
institutional credit facilities are poor; (iv) banking assistance 
is almost negligible and the state is simply depending on 
central assistance; (v) due to armed hostilities in Nagaland, 
the three first l ive-Year Plans could not be utilised for 
infrastructure! developments, even the benefits of the 
Fourth Five- Year Plan affected Nagaland marginally; (vi) 
the Fifth and Sixth Five- Year Plans could not be fully 
utilised because there was political instability and the 
political leadership could not devote their full time and 
energy for any comprehensive economic development prog- 
ramme for the whole of Nagaland. 

Need for a fresh look towards Development 

There is shortage of labour. The position of skilled labour is 
very poor. The scarcity of land has not been felt much. 
Import of labour from outside has started, knowing very well 
the dangers faced by the neighbouring states of Tripura and 
Assam where original inhabitants became minorities in a few 
decades. It has started creating social and political tensions 
which will definitely defeat the very goal of economic 
development and grant of political status. The immediate 
need is to acquire skills and technology and develop the local 
talents for the various development programmes that the 
State may plan. Training of manpower which is the human 
capital has not been taken up in a big way. In Nagaland, 
frequent change of government run by rival political parties 
created maximum constraints for smooth process of develop- 
ment. Even the practice of shifting cultivation-the most 
primitive method of cultivation which demands excess 
labour for low-yields has not been checked effectively. This 

Democracy and Development 


unproductive method of cultivation can never be controlled 
unless government provides enough alternative occupations 
to the people. Agriculture is the only source of livelihood for 
the majority of the people and sooner or later this problem 
ot shifting cultivations will have to be checked on permanent 

Nagaland has a great potentials for development in 
horticulture and animal husbandry. Banana, papaya, 
oranges, ginger, black pepper, cardamom and pulses etc. can 
be grown. Poultry, duckery, piggery, sheep breeding, cattle 
breeding, fodder cultivation can do well. Village industries 
based on locally available material like cane, bamboos, 
wood, handloom textiles, tanning of leather, match-making, 
sugar, soap-making, bee-keeping, pottery etc. should be 
established and encouraged. For any planned development 
the primary need is to assess what is economically feasible 
and advisable in different areas. Utilisation of different 
areas for different purposes for which they are best suited 
should be ensured and there should be free communications 
for inter-flow and outflow of returns between these areas. 
Basic scientific informations like soil, rainfall, climate and 
diseases can be obtained only when scientific research 
centres are available. Agriculture scientists should provide 
their researches to the farmers. This is why Nagaland needs 
an immediate establishment of an Agriculture University. 
Political and administrative efforts are necessary for imple- 
mentation of various economic infrastructural projects like 
power, transport, communication, credit institutions etc. 
Transport and communication systems are still poor. 
Marketing facilities are almost nil. 


Under industrial sector, there are five state undertakings 
which give employment to only 1426 persons. The following 
lable will give an idea: 


Emergence of Nagaland 

g - : - ■ No. of RliiuUii' 

No. Name apd Address j inpowes 

1. The Nagaland Sugar Mills -V s 
Co. Ltd., Dimapur 

2. The Nagaland Pulp & Papar 
Co. Ltd. Tuli 

3. The Nagaland Forest Products 
Ltd., Tizit 

4. The Nagaland Distillery Ltd., '■" 
Dimapur (at present leased out 

to M s Mohan Meakins since 
January 1980) 

5. The Longnak Fruit Preservation fl 
Factory, Longnak, (Under Agri- 

ulture Department) 

Totd S 

Similarly, there are ten small-scale industries under 
private sector, which engage only 740 persons. Table* 
below explains the position: 


No. of 

No. of 


Type of Factory 




Saw Mill & Saw-cum-Veneer Mill 




Aluminium Conductors 




Hume Pipes 




Sodium Silicate 




Steel Tabular Electrical Poles 




Aluminium Utensils Factory 




Roller Flour Mill 



Rice, Oil & Atta Mill 




Plastic Can 




Rerolling Mill 






*As on December 1984 

Democracy and Development 


Forest Wealth 

The above two tables clearly show that Nagaland has no 

Proper planning towards industrialisation of the State Out 
of the tota] employment* of 2,166 under industrial sector 
,661 persons are employed in forest-based industries, bu 

hould be g t nd f 3r n- faSt dlSa PP—g- As such, there 
should be a curb on fellmg of trees backed by the political 
will and stringent government measures. At presen h 

orlTfTr g T enCOUr ^ m - 1 to forest contrac- 
tors to fell trees not only on private lands but including the 
Reserved Forests. One hundred nineteen (119) Saw Mills 
and Veneer Mills in the private sector and the State run 
Plywood Factory have already done enough to Z 
forest wealth in a small State like NagalLd. The ind* ri 

andthe sT or ? ° ^ ShOUld be ^ ed * a11 ^ 
MUu ln 2 u 6St PeimitS t0 the Saw Mllls and Veneer 
Mills should be stopped. The subject of ecology should be 

should be wrdely publicised. Government should no longer 
treat Forest Department as a revenue earning department 
117o7n7^ ^ * * Nation. Many 

never exiSnr ^ 6X P erienced Noughts which was 

never existent in the past. 

Need Based Industries 

^ n t ti0n ? OU i d 56 diVCrted t0 the establishment of new 
NaS.t 5 ° n ^ materials wh -h are available" 
Nagaland like cement, coal, petroleum and gas etc Aero 
mdustnes and cottage industries should also be ncourald" 
There must be determined efforts to use the local resources 

u^atn e af° 0d r hl ? ^ fa the national and 

international markets. Even in the domestic market neoole 

buy most of their consumer goods from the plams of Assam 

and they have very few things to give in exenang This has 

resulted in an adverse term of trade of Naga people They 

As on December 1984 


Emergence of Nagahind 

buy tea, yarn, cloth, garments, pigs, cows, chickens, sugar, 
dal, almost everything from the markets of Assam but 
nothing is exported to Assam from Nagaland. This clearly 
shows that Nagaland is not capable of providing even the 
basic human needs to the people. The British colonial power 
had no economic programme for Nagaland. Their main 
interest was to rule over the tribals. 


It is when considered against this background that the 
emerging picture and the prospects for development in 
Nagaland through democratic institutions become clear. 
Undeniably, the State has set itself positively on the path of 
development and notable strides have been made in the field 
of education. The number of schools and colleges have 
grown at a faster rate. The following table* will indicate the 
present position: 


No. of Govt. Primary Schools 


No. of Pvt. Primary Schools 



No. of Govt. M.E. Schools 


No. of Pvt. M.E. Schools 



No. of Govt. H.E. Schools 

. 61 

No. of Pvt. H.E. Schools 



No. of students in Govt. 


Primary Schools 


No. of students in Govt. 


M.E. Schools 


No. of students in Govt. 


H.E. Schools 



No. of Govt. Colleges 


No. of Private/aided Colleges 



Total No. of students in Colleges 


(very aproximate) 


Nagaland has 7.3 MW of power which is entirely purchased 
from Assam. Hydel scheme at Dzuza Hydro-electric Project 
with installed capacity of 15 MW. The Doyang river scheme 

*As on December 1984. 

Democracy and Development 


is still under investigation. 

NagaLnd 11 ^ 118 SH ° WS ^ P ° W6r P ° sition in 


duik purcnase or power from 

18.732 MW 


A.S.E.B. (Assam). 

Bulk purchase of power from 

1.03 MW 

LOkt^lf Proipi^t Maniniir 
ry L a i\ i 1UJCCI, IVldilipur 


Hydel Power Production from 

0 1 1 fid MW 
u . i 1 OH iVl W 

Dzuza Nallah Micro-hydel Project 

(Electricity production is generally 

' from April to November since this 

project is fed with run-off water) 


Doyang Hydro Electric Project 

x '^I'^ai'U iiidAiuiUf ii power 

(Handed over to North-Eastern 

generation capacity 

Electric Power Corporation) 

will be 105 MW. 

Actual construction 

is yet to start. 


Dikfiu Hydel Project 

With an installed 

capacity of 1 MW is under 

construction. This project 

is scheduled for 

completion during 1985-86. 


Nagaland has one hundred and eleven kms of national 
highway which connects Dimapur with Imphal. It has only 
eight kms of railway with only one railway station at 
Dimapur. Nagaland State Transport started operating in 
1965 with 15 buses and 8 trucks. The present fleet** strength 
of NST is 190 buses, 19 trucks, 1 mobile van and 2 break- 
down vans. 

All the district headquarters and most of the sub- 
divisional headquarters are now connected by NST bus 
services. Besides, under the reciprocal agreement with 
Assam, NST is operating bus services between Dimapur- 

End of December. 1984 
""As on December 1984 


Emergence of Nagaland 

Lumding and Mon-Naginimora via Sonari and Simulguri. 
NST is also running daily night super deluxe service between 
Dimapur and Gauhati. 

Posts and Telegraph 

Nagaland is now under the administrative control of a 
Director, Telecommunications with headquarter at Dima- 
pur. All district headquarters and major towns are having 
telephone exchanges. 

Nagaland Postal Division is now headed by a Director 
with his headquarters at Kohima. There are three Postal 
sub-divisions at Kohima, Dimapur and Mokokchung. There 
are 255 post offices in Nagaland. On-going schemes are 
there to further expand the postal services. 

The systems of transportation and communication have 
also rapidly expanded though not as yet at a realistic level. 
As a result of these activities, the different tribes are 
increasingly coming in closer contacts, their perceptions of 
social, economic and political goals have broadened and the 
faith and confidence of the Naga people in the Indian 
federalism and in the democratic institutions of planning, 
growth and development has tended to concretise along 
hopeful dimensions. 

Need for a Planned and a Result-oriented Administration 

While these positive aspects of development deserve ap- 
plause, yet, there is a crying need to make planning, 
development, social change and growth more real and more 
meaningful in Nagaland by taking them to the remotest 
villages, the farthest regions and the most backward of the 
tribes. This needs a comprehensive planning and in this 
direction, the State of Nagaland may establish a state-level 
Planning Commission on the pattern of some other states in 
the country. Such a State Planning Commission should be a 
widely representative body to include a politician, an 

Democracy and Development 


the representatives of Village Area and R I ^ 

should be associated in £ tsk witS? th 
constraints but based on ! it h h& fmancial 

Planning rvT ' 1 RajlV Gandhl ' as Chairman of the 

St? th f 6 Im P leffien ^ion will be faste In 
preference to his policy of result-orientation in Naealand it 

itmons of (a) an implementation eell, and (b) a vigilance 
< U. These cells consisting of persons with absolute honesw 
nd mtegnty and endowed with neies^ dyS 
and shonld assess and supervise hke * 
watchdog no, only the implementation quantum of rowth 



Emergence of Nagaland 

and development but what is more important they should be 
a vigil of social and distributive justice. In addition the 
vigilant cell, may also extend its activities to watching and 
reporting any type of corruption involved in planning and 
development and their implementations. 

It is hoped, that once these theoretical and practical 
propositions are gone through, Nagaland will become an 
ideal all-round developed State in India. 

Chapter 11 


Looking Ahead 

The study of the evolution of beliefs, motives, attitudes and 
valuations of a people helps to delve into the past of one's 
people and to watch in retrospect the stages of growth 
through joy and pain, achievement and failure and thus 
provide increased self-consciousness as to enable it to play 
meaningful and purposeful roles in the historv- making 
processes. This is one way of freeing oneself from the 
'arbitrariness' of growth and development and to move from 
being 'objects' to becoming 'subjects' of history. Thus the 
process of looking back has inherent in it the desire to look 
ahead. Sitting in the midst of the serene and peaceful 
atmosphere of the hills of Himachal Pradesh my mind 
therefore goes back to the yester-years of life in Nagaland 
and the prospects that the future hold out for this State. 

In retrospect, the past was once full of fears and 
uncertainties. At home, in the streets, in conferences and 
conventions, we debated freely and frankly about our 
brothers who had gone underground and had started 
opposing us with violent means and the use of arms. Almost 
everyday we received news of the killings of our dear ones 
on both sides and very often we wondered whether our 
efforts and sacrifices were leading anywhere. Many of our 
colleagues became the victims of their convictions and many 
more continued relentlessly in their pursuit for peace and 
understanding. Though our opponents were few yet they 
were very determined and often devastatingly so. Something 


Emergence of Nagaland 

had to be done to stop the killings as our aim was not to pin 
them down but to win them over and involve them in the 
building of a bright future for Nagaland. 

It was the struggle between the cessationist views on the 
one hand and the national integration on the other. It was a 
fight between the regional interests as against the national 
interests. Our firm conviction was that the politics that 
widens the mental horizon and ensures peace and progress 
and promotes the welfare of the people must have prefer- 
ence over the politics of hatred and bloodshed. Politics that 
raises the moral and spiritual standards of the people must 
definitely be capable of overcoming the obstacles and must 
forebear malice and ill-will. People must realise the non- 
profitability of the separatist elements. The youth must be 
drawn towards constructive ways and must turn towards 
national interests, where they have ample scope to play their 
role for leadership in many fields. I am confident that the 
pace is now firmly set for moving towards a peaceful and 
progressive Nagaland. 

Safeguard Culture and Social Values 

Social transformation among the different tribal societies of 
Nagaland was indeed very rapid. The seclusion of one tribe 
from another, which once was the main obstacle in the path 
of tribal understanding and co-operation, no longer exists. 
With the improvement in the communication system, social 
interaction has become more dynamic. As educational 
facilities increased and became available to more and more, 
Nagas began rising above narrow parochial concerns and 
inhibiting tribal constraints to think of the common good of 
Nagaland. However, this growth and development has not 
been an unmixed blessing. The young boys and girls today 
have almost forgotten their culture and customs pertaining 
to their specific tribes. The rich social traditions which made 
life so colourful and attractive are now being completely 
neglected. The various gennas and festivals which united the 

Looking Ahead 


people of a tribe and were the main attractions of village life 
are no longer observed. Similarly, the feast of honour 
through which one attained social prestige, is no longer 
celebrated. In other words, the 'modern' Naga is slowly 
becoming alienated. He has no roots either in his home, his 
village, or his society. His education is not even remotely 
related to his culture, environment or traditional value 
system. Such an alienation can be seen reflected in the 
increasing frustration among the youth. This is leading to 
social decadence. Hitherto unknown maladies like delin- 
quency, mental disorders, drug addiction, alcoholism and 
even crime are rearing their ugly heads among Naga 
societies. The traditional family system is also consequently, 
disintegrating. This is leading to family tensions, separation 
and divorce. The increasing breakdown of the individual and 
family harmony is promoting an unhealthy ferment among 
the community at large. Political corruption, breakdown of 
social restraints, mass unrest and mob behaviour are some of 
the evils which have to be fought and kept under check. 
Education must play a vital role in the smooth and 
productive transformation of the traditional Naga tribes into 
modern societies. 

These maladies threatening to afflict Naga societies today 
are a natural but nauseous by-product of a society on the 
move. The real danger however lies in a passive acceptance 
of these evils as a 'necessary' or 'unavoidable evil'. I have 
great faith that given the right guidance and leadership, the 
Nagas can overcome these problems with the help of their 
manifold good qualities. They have a deep rooted sense of 
self-discipline, of sacrifice for the common good, of dignity 
and straightforwardness. They still retain love and respect 
for their customs and traditions. The combination of such 
rare qualities will certainly enable the Naga youth to move 
ahead in the world without destroying or ignoring their 
invaluable traditional customs which are unique in the 
world. Among the many rays of hope one of the prominent 
one is the pride which the young people show in undertaking 


Emergence of Nagaland 

voluntary labour for the community. This is an example of 
community service done with the zeal of self-help and must 
constantly be encouraged. 

One of the outstanding and charming qualities of India is 
that it is a great multi-racial and multi-cultural family 
displaying a vast panorama of variety and heterogeneity 
within the common bonds of unity and cohesion. The 
identity of the Nagas as a distinct hue can further contribute 
and enrich the colourful spectrum that is India. In order, to 
do this the Nagas must undertake a re-evaluation of their 
social and cultural lives in order to know whether any 
damage has been caused to these by foreign missionaries or 
through personal neglect. Some of the traditional Naga art, 
which is dying out through neglect, must be revived. If the 
Nagas want, they do have the resilience to do this. One 
example, mentioned earlier too, is the fact that despite 
injunctions to the contrary by the foreign missionaries, the 
Nagas did not give up their traditional shawls. New and 
better designs have been developed giving a distinctive 
charm to the Naga appearance. Similarly interest must be 
revived in the innate Naga artistic sense for wood carvings. 
Their originality, as displayed in earlier days in the carvings 
on the king pillar and the wood carvings of the Konyaks 
must be recultivated. These carvings should be made a part 
of the Naga social, cultural and religious life. Such carvings 
could be used both in homes and in churches. A revival of 
Naga art and culture could do much in making the Naga 
churches indigenous rather than being pale imitations of 
churches in Europe and America. Lack ot interest in one's 
originality is the greatest danger towards the extinction of 
one's social and religious life. The immense potential for 
creativity among the Nagas and their deep rooted aesthetical 
sense must be given new impetus for enriching their social 
and religious life. Attention must also be paid to the Naga 
instinct for singing and dancing. For centuries the Nagas 
have expressed their joys through songs and their jubilations 
through dances till the foreign missionaries tried to stop this 

Looking Ahead 


"heathen activity". However, now we recognise that there is 
nothing 'unchristian' in these activities which are in fact 
healthy and harmless and promote unity and brotherhood 
and make life colourful and gay. 

Thus while looking ahead to the future of new possibilities 
the Nagas must also take care to preserve their cultural 
identity. Some of the important festivals like the Sakhrinyi 
for the Angamis, Moatsu for the Aos, Tuluni for the Semas 
ect. must be duly observed. The purpose of these festivals 
was to invoke the blessings of God on their crops as well as 
to ask for health and wealth. These festivals could still be 
celebrated for the same purpose by addressing them to the. 
Almighty God through Christ. Christian festivals like Easter 
and Christmas as well as the celebrations of the New Year 
could be done with the help of traditional Naga folk dances 
and other customary modes of expressing joy. Such an 
amalgamation of the traditional Naga art and culture with 
the tenets of faith and articles of beliefs would add to the 
enrichment of both. 

Economic Transformation 

On the economic front Nagaland is poised for greater 
economic progress which is now dependent on a scientific 
development of the available resources of raw material, man 
power and their potential markets. In this crucial period of 
looking ahead and anticipating all-round progress for 
Nagaland an important factor is the deployment of the right 
persons for the right jobs. Thus whether it be the allocation 
of portfolios to different ministers or the appointment of 
secretaries to different government departments, care must 
be exercised to see that a round peg may not go into a square 
hole. Priorities have to be framed and matters like agricul- 
ture, industry, animal husbandry must find prominent places 
as they have a direct bearing with the day-to-day lives of the 
people. The main thrust now should be to enrich the 
countryside through a silent revolution after building up the 


Emergence of Nagaland 

necessary infrastructure. Public sector enterprises, like sugar 
mills, paper mills, plywood factories etc. must further the 
purpose for which they were built, viz to give opportunities 
of employment and training to the unemployed educated 
youth of Nagaland. Such opportunities when properly 
utilised will lead to further industrial growth in the State. 
Yet, one can never compromise on the aspect of productivity, 
and the anti-work and anti-productivity tendencies must 
be removed from the very beginning. Along with the Public 
Sector, adequate attention must be given to small-scale and 
cottage industries in order to generate self-employment 

The educational system of the State has to be made more 
employment-oriented with more emphasis on technical and 
vocational institutions. Real education prepares a man for 
life and livelihood. The educational system should be such as 
to inculcate pride in the ethic of work leading to self- 
confidence and self-reliance. To prepare the youth to stand 
on their own feet while engaging in productive activities 
should be the aim of education. Cultivation of proper skills 
and the recognition of merit, will work for the welfare of the 
people at large. Through such means poverty must be fought 
as this is the most fertile ground for provoking violent 
agitations and pushing the country towards anarchy. 

In order to look ahead to years of comfort and peace, the 
different sections of society must work in mutual coopera- 
tion with the spirit of enlightened self-interest. Such a spirit 
will make the business community work closely with the 
government for the welfare of the people because in this 
alone lies the welfare of all. The business community can 
play its full role in activating the State's economy 
and create income-generating industries. Black-marketeers 
and profiteers should never be allowed at the cost of 
the nation. The State has fertile land and the climate 
is good. There are rich economic potentials. Therefore, 
with the union of science and technology, tradition and 
modernity, Nagaland can take a lead in efficiency. But, if 
there is politics without principles, commerce without 

Looking Ahead 


morality, education without character, one cannot expect 
much for our State and for our people. The only thing is that 
we must change our outlook and work for the transforma- 
tion of our economic growth. 

Along with this there is the need for comprehensive 
planning in this direction. The State of Nagaland could do 
well to establish a State-level Planning Commission on the 
pattern of some other states in the country. Such a 
Commission should be broadbased so as to have representa- 
tives from all sections of society and disciplines on it. Such a 
Commission could then outline both long-range as well as 
short-term strategies and goals for the development of 
Nagaland. To be realistic and effective this Commission 
must be structured on the principle of devolution of 
initiative and power in respect of planning so that all levels 
of authority from the village upward are involved in it. The 
proposals made by this Commission should normally be 
accepted by the Central Planning Commission and the 
National Development Council within the parameters of 
their working. This is clearly a case for democratic decentra- 
lisation. Experiences in our country show that while 
planning is often grandiose and noble, it generally flounders 
on the hard rock of implementation. Therefore, in order to 
make the planning result-oriented, it is incumbent that the 
institutions of village councils and other local bodies and 
authorities should be entrusted with the tasks of im- 
plementations of plans for development which specially 
concern them and for this they should be provided with the 
necessary resources and the technical know-how and tech- 
nical expertise. 

In this context it may be worthwhile to mention that 
Nagaland may also profitably adopt two other institutions, 
viz an implementation cell and a vigilance cell. These cells, if 
handled by persons of honesty, integrity, and endowed with 
dynamism and expertise, could serve as instruments of 
proper assessment and supervision. They could watch over 
the implementation quantum of growth and development 


Emergence of Nagaland 

and also keep sharp vigil over social distributive justice, 
thereby a check could also be maintained to prevent any 
corrupt practices creeping into the implementation of 
development programmes. 

Political Aspirations 

Looking to the turmoils through which the people of 
Nagaland have suffered in the past, it is essential that they 
realise and appreciate, the extent of political aspirations 
achieved by them. It would be interesting for the Nagas to 
note how far they have come from what their condition and 
background was many years ago. In this regard it is pertinent 
to note the reaction of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, the chief 
benefactor of the Nagas, to the Naga demand for a sovereign 
independent Nagaland. In a speech delivered in the opening 
session of the Scheduled Tribes and Scheduled Areas 
Conference in New Delhi on 7th June, 1952, he said: 

In fact, just when a new political awareness dawned upon 
India, there was a movement in North-Eastern India to 
encourage the people of the North-Eastern India to form 
separate and independent States. Many foreigners resi- 
dent in the area supported this movement. I do not 
understand how it could be considered practical or 
feasible from any point of view. 

This observation was related to his love for the tribals of 
India and specially of the Nagas and his approach to them in 
a spirit of friendship, unity and understanding. Later in 1962 
when he piloted the debate in the Parliament on the 
Thirteenth Amendment Bill and State of Nagaland Bill, he 

We have always made a political approach, the approach 
to make these people friends and citizens of India. 

Looking Ahead 


This sincere approach and a genuine desire of Jawaharlal 
Nehru manifested itself in the emergence of Nagaland as the 
sixteenth State in the Union of India in spite of bitter 
opposition inside and outside the Parliament. It became an 
Act of Parliament known as the State of Nagaland Act, 1962 
on 3rd September, 1962 and a special provision-Article 
371 -A, was incorporated in our Consitution to protect the 
special interests of the Nagas. 

Today the Naga people have their own elected representa- 
tives in their legally constituted Legislative Assembly. They 
have a Cabinet and the complete structure of bureaucratic 
institution. Of course, many things still remain to be done 
but they should be settled amicably through the mediatory 
efforts of the Government Of India. They must be settled as 
early as possible by the State Government in its negotiations 
with the Central Government. All doubts and disturst must 
be finally set at rest. Some of these issues are: 

(a) consolidating the ethnic Naga groups; 

(b) forests and boundary question, to be examined and 
settled as provided in Articles 3 and 4 of the 
Constitution of India; and 

(c) demand for a separate Governor and a separate 
High Court for Nagaland. 

Some of our brethren who are still preferring the life of 
adventure under all hardships should be persuaded to come 
overground. It is well known that the cause for which they 
have chosen to lead the lives of fugitives, needs to be given a 
careful thought. In the past, our endeavour had been to 
persuade them to attend the conference table to find a 
peaceful solution to the problems. Now, the Government of 
Nagaland and Government of India should offer their 
proferred hands of friendship towards the Underground and 
discuss matters in the right perspective. While doing so, the 
services of some well meaning people can always be utilized 
to act as mediators. Those underground who decide to come 


Emergence of Nagaland 

overground should be given suitable employment in our 
civil, military and paramilitary forces. 

As we look ahead to the future of Nagaland we see that 
now there is no place or scope for insurgencies in its life. An 
era of productive peace has to be ushered in so that the fruits 
of economic planning and development can be shared by all 
its people. They have missed the fruits of many years of 
economic planning and development. Nagas must now take 
active part in the national mainstream. They should no 
longer entertain the idea of keeping themselves isolated 
from the mainstream of national life. The new generation of 
Nagaland should think in terms of what they can give to their 
country and not what they can get. Today, under the fresh 
perspectives into national unity offered by the dynamic 
leadership of Shri Rajiv Gandhi, the Nagas can look forward 
to better opportunities in all spheres of life and Nagaland 
looks ahead with confidence, faith and optimism. 


Appendix 1 


Vol. XLIV lst-12th August 1960: 
Statement 1 August, 1960 13:42 hrs. 

Statement: The Naga Hills and Tuensang Area 

The Prime Minister and Minister of External Affairs (Shri 
Jawaharlal Nehru): Mr Speaker, Sir, I have on many 
previous occasions referred in this House to the problem of 
the Nagas. As hon. Members are aware, we have always 
regarded the territory inhabited by the Nagas, as by other 
tribal peoples all over India, as part of Independent India as 
defined in our Constitution. We looked upon all these tribal 
people as citizens of independent India having all the 
privileges and obligations of such citizenship. 

The Nagas are a hard-working and disciplined people, and 
there is much in their way of life from which others can learn 
with profit. We have had for many years Nagas in the Indian 
Army, and they have proved to be excellent soldiers. Our 
policy has always been to give the fullest autonomy and 
opportunity of self-development to the Naga people, with- 
out interfering in any way in their internal affairs or way of 

Unfortunately, the process of devolution of local auto- 
nomy could not be implemented in full because troubles arose 
in the area as a result of the hostile activities of a section of 
(he Nagas. The ostensible object of this hostile section was 
lo carve out an Independent Naga territory entirely separate 
from India. This was a demand which no Government in 
India could ever agree to. These hostile elements among the 
Naga people thereafter took to violent methods, and we had 

19 g Emergence of Nagaland 

to take steps to meet these illegal activities. The hostile 
Nagas indulged in arson, loot and extortion of money from 
their own fellow Nagas. They also committed a number of 
gruesome murders. It became our duty to give protection to 
the large number of other Naga residents of these areas and 
to meet the menace of this continued violence. The help ot 
our Armv and (he Assam Rifles was taken in this conflict, 
and various steps were taken to give the necessary protec- 
tion and to maintain law and order. This conflict inevitably 
caused m uch suffering to the people of those areas, most of 
whom were anxious to live a peaceful life and carry on their 
avocations. The storv of the last five or six years has been a 
sad and depressing one. Gradually, there was an improve- 
ment in the situation and, over large areas in the Naga 
districts peaceful conditions were established. One bright 
feature was the extension of our development work and the 
establishment of schools, hospitals and communications. 
But in spite of this considerable improvement, a hard core of 
the hostile elements continued their violent activities, even 
though tktey were driven back into the remoter parts of these 

The leaders of all the tribes of the Naga Hills representing 
their people, who had suffered so much from this conflict 
and the depredations of the hostiles, decided to make an 
effort to put an end to the conflict. They called a 
Representative Convention of the Naga people, drawn from 
every tribe and area of the territories then forming part of 
the Naga Hills district of Assam and the Tuensang Frontier 
Division of the North East Frontier Agency. This Conven- 
tion met from the 22nd to the 25th August 1957, at Kohima 
in search, as the Convention put it, of a solution to end the 
infinite sufferings and bloodshed. This Convention passed a 
number of resolutions. The principal one requested the 
Government of India to constitute a single administrative 
unit consisting of the Naga Hills district of Assam and the 
Tuensang Frontier Division of the NEFA, under the 
External Affairs Ministry of the Government of India. This 



unit was to be administered by the Governor of Assam as 
the agent of the President of India, under the Ministry of 
External Affairs. 

I received a delegation of the leaders chosen by the 
Convention on September 25th and 26th, 1957. We consi- 
dered the Naga request for a separate administrative unit as 
a reasonable one. In order to give effect to this proposal, the 
matter was brought before Parliament, and the Naga 
Hills-Tuensang Area Act, 1957,was passed. This area thus 
became an administrative unit and the necessary Regulation 
was promulgated by the President, making detailed provi- 
sion for the administration of the new unit. It has since been 
administered by the Governor of Assam as the agent of the 
President, under the Ministry of External Affairs. 

The Naga people hoped that the formation of the new unit 
would give them an opportunity of developing their area in 
the way they considered suited to their needs. Some 
progress was no doubt made, but the activities of the hostile 
elements stood in the way of normal development. 

Another Convention was, therefore, held at a place called 
Ungma in the Mokokchung district of the Naga Hills- 
Tuensang Area in May 1958. This Convention appointed a 
liaison committee to contact the Underground elements and 
win them over to support the Convention's policy of 
securing the maximum autonomy of their area and finally 
settling the future of the Nagas. Though some among the 
hostile elements appreciated this approach, broadly speak- 
ing, the response was not encouraging. 

The leaders of the Naga People's Convention, therefore, 
decided to draft their own proposals and place them before 
the Government of India. A third Naga People's Conven- 
tion met at Mokokchung in October 1959 and prepared a 
16-point memorandum for consideration by the Govern- 
ment. The main demand formulated by the Nagas at this 
Convention was for the constitution of a separate State 
within the Indian Union to be known as Nagaland, under the 

198 Emergence of Nagaland 

Ministry of External Affairs, with a Governor and adminis- 
trative secretariat, a Council of Ministers and Legislative 
Assembly. Provision was also made for the constitution of 
the Village Council, the Range Council and the Tribal 
Council to deal with matters concerning different tribes and 
areas. These bodies were also to deal with disputes and cases 
involving breaches of customary laws and usages. 

A delegation of Naga leaders presented the 16-point 
memorandum, on behalf of the Naga People's Convention 
to the Governor of Assam in April last. The delegation 
expressed a wish to meet the Prime Minister. The Prime 
Minister informed them that he would gladly meet them but, 
as he was leaving for England soon for the Commonwealth 
Prime Ministers' Conference, the meeting desired by the 
Naga leaders would have to be held after his return from 

On the 26th July 1960, the Prime Minister received a dele- 
gation of 15 Naga leaders led by Dr Imkongliba Ao, President 
the Naga People's Convention. The delegation placed 
before him the 16-point memorandum to which I have 
already referred. The proposals contained in the memoran- 
dum were fully examined. The Prime Minister reaffirmed 
the Government's policy to give the maximum autonomy to 
the Nagas in their internal affairs. He accepted their request 
for the constitution of the Naga Hills-Tuensang Area as a 
separate State within the Indian Union, but pointed out to 
the Naga leaders that the extent of this territory, its 
population and its financial resources are such that it would 
not be able to bear the weight of a heavy super-structure in 
th«. administration. The details were discussed with the Naga 
leaders and a broad agreement has been reached on the 
following lines: 

A new State to be called 'Nagaland' will be established 
within the Indian Union comprising the territory of the 
existing Naga Hills and the Tuensang Area. The same 
person will be appointed as the Governor of Assam and the 



Governor of Nagaland and the existing jurisdiction of the 
Assam High Court over the area comprising the new State 
would continue. There will be a transitional period during 
which an interim body will be constituted with representa- 
tives from every Naga tribe to assist and advise the 
Governor in the administration of Nagaland. The Governor 
will have special responsibility for law and order during this 
transitional period and for so long as the law and order 
situation continues to remain disturbed on account of hostile 
activities. Since the financial resources of the new State will 
be extremely limited, and large grants from the Central 
Government may be necessary, not only for the develop- 
ment schemes, but also to maintain the efficiency of the 
administration, the Governor will have general responsibi- 
lity for ensuring that the funds made available by the 
Government of India are expanded for the purposes for 
which they are approved by the Central Government. 

There will be a Legislative Assembly to which the Council 
of Ministers of the new State will be responsible. Certain 
safeguards, as on the existing Sixth Schedule of the Con- 
stitution, will be provided for the religious and social 
practices of the Nagas, Naga customary laws and procedure 
and the ownership and transfer of land. Otherwise, the 
existing laws relating to the administration of civil and 
criminal justice will continue to remain in force. Jurisdiction 
of the High Court of Assam will also continue. Special 
provision will be made for the administration of the 
Tuensang district in accordance with the wishes of the people 
inhabiting that district. There are some other matters of 
relatively lesser importance on which also full understanding 
has been reached between the Government of India and the 
Naga leaders. It is hoped, therefore, that there will be no 
room for any misunderstanding in future about the Govern- 
ment of India's intention and what they propose to do to 
implement the understanding reached during the recent 


Emergence of Nagaland 

It is now the intention of the Government of India to give 
effect to the arrangements reached with the Naga leaders 
without delay. This will involve amendment of the Constitu- 
tion and a Bill will be placed before Parliament for approval 
in due course. 

I take this opportunity to express our satisfaction at the 
agreement reached with the Naga leaders. We have always 
regarded the Nagas as full Indian citizens. I have said to the 
Naga people several times in the past that there could be no 
question of independence for the Nagas. India achieved her 
independence thirteen years ago and the Nagas are as 
independent as other Indian citizens. We have not the 
slightest desire to interfere in the tribal customs and usage of 
the Nagas or in their distinctive way of life. The Nagas have 
been anxious to have a separate State within the Indian 
Union. The agreement now reached with them should 
enable them to find the fullest opportunity of self- 
expression and we sincerely hope that the new arrangement 
will result in the rapid restoration of normal conditions in 
the area. I must, however, make it clear that no Government 
can permit hostile activities on its soil, and while we are 
ready to give our fullest support to those who will cooperate 
in giving effect to the agreement just reached we shall 
continue to deal firmly with the hostile elements. This is an 
unpleasant but necessary task and I trust that the Naga 
leaders will cooperate fully in putting an end to the disloyal 
activities of a minority of their people. 

Shri Braj Raj Singh (Firozabad): Sir, the Prime Minister 
was pleased to say that the Government of India will be 
dealing strictly with the hostile elements. Now, Dr Phizo is 
reported to be approaching the United Nations Organisa- 
tion, perhaps. May I know what is the attitude of the 
Government of India with regard to the activities of Dr 
Phizo and how do they want to meet the situation? 

Shri Raghunath Singh (Varanasi): What is the relevancy 
of this? 



Dr Ram Subhag Singh (Sasaram): I only wish to point out 
one thing. I fully support the agreement. But I do not clearly 
understand the meaning of the word 'Nagaland'. I, there- 
fore, request the Prime Minister and the Government to 
carefully name that area. It may be named Naga State or 
Naga Pradesh; Nagaland is something bigger. 

Shri Jawaharlal Nehru: It is true; but that word was 
accepted because of the strong desire of the Naga leaders to 
have it. 

Shri C. K. Bhattacharya (West Dinajpur): Do they want 
to have an outlandish name? Nagaland is outlandish. 

Shri Raghunath Singh: It should^be something like Naga 
State or Naga Province. 

Shri Vidya Charan Shukla (Baloda Bazar): It has been 
reported in the Press that the affairs of the Nagaland, by 
convention, will be looked after by the Ministry of External 
Affairs. We want to know why this special provision by 
convention is being established so that this new State in the 
Union will be looked after not by the Ministry of Home 
Affairs but by the Ministry of External Affairs. We are 
rather concerned about this new procedure that is being 
evolved. And, we would like to have a clarification from the 
Prime Minister about it. 

Shri Jawaharlal Nehru: This is not a constitutional matter. 
No amendment of the Constitution will lay down the 
administration in charge of an area. The Government of 
India looks after it; and it is a matter for the President, 
acting through his Prime Minister, to decide as to the 
allocation of work between the ministries. But, it has been 
stated here that two years ago, in 1957, it was the request of 
this Convention that the Ministry of External Affairs, which 
is generally looking after the NEFA area should continue to 
do so. Since it was their request, and, in fact at that time we 
were goin^ to continue to have it, we said so. It is again their 
request. As said, tnis is not going to be put down in the 


Emergence of Nagaland 

Constitution; and it is a matter entirely for us to determine. 
But, since it is their wish we have mentioned it here. 

Shri Tyagi (Dehra Dun): Is it also part of the agreement 
that we can never take it away from the Ministry of External 
Affairs to the Ministry of Home Affairs? Is it a commit- 

Shri Asoka Mehta (Muzaffarpur): We can understand the 
Prime Minister looking after that area. The Ministry of 
External Affairs deals with external matters and this is an 
internal matter. Why should this internal question be looked 
after by the External Affairs Ministry and why should we be 
a party to that kind of agreement? I can understand that they 
would have liked to be looked after by you as the Prime 
Minister of India. But I cannot understand how this idea 
came to be entertained today. 

Shri Jawaharlal Nehru: I have endeavoured to explain the 
causes historically. The North East Frontier Agency region 
has been directly connected with the External Affairs 
Ministry. The NEFA is as much a part of India. And, in fact, 
the House may know that in the Budget estimates of the 
Ministry of External Affairs very large sums of money are 
provided for the Assam Rifles even. So, it has been dealt 
with in that way because it was considered rather a special 
region requiring special treatment. I am not justifying it. I 
am merely stating the historical background of it. 

Later on, a special service was started which was quite a 
different service from the other services. There was the 
Political Service which was also put under the Ministry of 
External Affairs. In these services people were taken on 
special experience, on special aptitude, special toughness to 
live in isolation and away from the normal amenities of life 
and all that. They were taken from the Army, from the Civil 
Services and from outside, so that it has been connected in 
that way. And, when in 1957 this Convention of people 
expressed a wish that they should be one unit, they 
expressed also the wish that the External Affairs Ministry 



should be in charge. In fact, we told them that this is a 
matter entirely for us to determine. But since they were 
anxious to lay stress on it we put that in. But, it is not, as I 
said, a matter of the Constitution or anything. We can 
change this by agreement or whatever it is, later. But, for 
the present anyhow, it will continue in that way. 

Shri Braj Raj Singh: What about my question? 

Shri Jawaharlal Nehru: But, at the present moment, this 
unit is under the External Affairs Ministry, and it is really a 
continuation more or less of this. Of course, a change is 
made that the officers and others that serve there are from 
that political service that has been specially recruited. 

14 hrs. 

Shri Tyagi: I want to seek further clarification. I want to 
know whether this agreement is as such a formal agreement 
and will go into the Constitution or whether it is an informal 
talk with the Prime Minister and certain conclusions have 
been arrived at in some talks with a non-official body and 
also whether Parliament will have the final say with regard 
to the changes which have to be effected in the Constitution 
Will this agreement go as a legal document or is it a type of 
treaty? r 

Shri Asoka Mehta: How can there be a treaty? I cannot 

Mr Speaker: Would the hon. Member consider the desirabi- 
lity of reserving all this for the Bill? 

Shri Asoka Mehta: But we must surely understand what is 
being done. If I have understood it clearly, a sixteenth State 
is going to emerge in the Indian Union. If it is going to be the 
sixteenth State it will have the same status as the other 
fifteen or it may have a different status. If it has a different 
status, there must be reason why a different status is given to 
it. We want to understand whether as a result of this 
agreement, a sixteenth State is going to be born in the Indian 


Emergence ofNagaland 

Union or there is something different. Again, wherein does 
this External Affairs Ministry come in if it is the sixteenth 

Shri Jawaharlal Nehru: This State will be the sixteenth 
State, as the hon. Member says, subject to certain provision- 
al arrangements, etc. The period is indefinite because much 
depends upon other factors, law and order, etc. Naturally, it 
is the sixteenth State. By virtue of its size etc. It will function 
without, I hope, that complicated structure of administra- 
tion which the other States require. Now, the agreement 
arrived at is an agreement between the Government of India 
and the representatives of the Naga People's Convention. 
That has to be translated in legal, constitutional terms. The 
agreement itself is not a legal document in that sense but it 
will have to be translated in proper terms and drafted 
properly. The essentials of it have to be included in the 
Bill not the smaller matters. The basic tilings will have to be 
included and the Government of India hope and trust that 
these essentials would be accepted by this House. Minor 
things of course do not much matter. 

Dr M.S. Aney (Nagpur): May I ask one clarification? 
Would it be necessary to have another agreement with them 
to make any changes in this agreement, if it is incorporated 
in the Constitution as it is and if a change is necessary later 
on or this House, on its own authority, can change it? 

Shri C.R. Pattabhi Raman (Kumbakonam): I take it that 
this agreement is an understanding or arrangement and not 
agreement proper. 

Shri Jawaharlal Nehru: Agreement means agreement- 
nothing else. 

Shri Tyagi: How can there be an agreement between the 
Government of India and the people of India? The 
Government of India cannot come to an agreement with the 
people of U.P. or of Punjab. They are subordinate to the 
Government of India. 

Shri Jawaharlal Nehru: Agreements are made between 




any two parties, subordinate or not. We need not quarrel 
about the language used. If this House approves it, it will 
become in a legal and consitutional form a part of our 
Constitution-not as I have read it but the basic thing. The 
basic thing is the creation of a certain State. Obviously this 
House will have to approve it before it becomes so. If it 
approves of it, it becomes a part of our Constitution. This 
agreement ceases if it is a part of our Constitution. But 
certainly Government is bound to put it forward as such and 
endeavour to get it through the Parliament. 

Shri Thirumala Rao (Kakinada): The word 'agreement' 
confers some rights on the Naga people which they are not 
entitled to. They are as good citizens of India as any other 
and have equal rights with the other citizens of India. No 
such special status was given to the people of Maharashtra 
when Maharashtra was carved out of India or when Andhra 
Pradesh was created. Now, a special status is sought to be 
conferred on some citizens of India who are part and parcel 
of India and who owe allegiance to the Constitution of India. 
So, we request you to consider whether the word" 'agree- 
ment' should be given that status in the statement. 

Raja Mahendra Pratap (Mathura): I fully support the 
creation of the Nagaland. When Soviet Russia can have 149 
autonomous States, we can also have 70 or 80 States. Take 
for instance, Punjabi Suba, U.P. can be divided into two or 
more states: there will be State with Nagpur as headquar- 
ters, Himachal Pradesh can be a separate State and so on. 

Appendix 2 

Constitution 28, August 1962 4500 hrs. 

(Thirteenth Amendment) Bill and State of 
Nagaland Bill 

Shri Jawaharlal Nehru: Almost exactly two years ago, I 
made a statement in this House in regard to Nagaland and in 
regard to a certain agreement that had been arrived at with 
the leaders of Nagaland, of the Naga Convention party 
there, so that what we are doing today is in continuation of 
that agreement that we came to. It is not an entirely new 
thing. An agreement was arrived at and it has been acted 
upon during these two years to the extent it could be, 
without having an amendment of the Constitution etc. 

We would have had this earlier but for the fact that the 
situation in Nagaland was not normal and has not been 
normal, as the House very well knows, and we wanted it to 
approach normality before we took this step. I do not 
pretend to say that it is absolutely normal, but, undoubtedly, 
it is much better now than it has been. And the Provisional 
Council of Nagaland that was formed as a result of that 
agreement has been functioning, on the whole, with success. 
And as they desired that further steps should be taken now, 
we thought that the time had come for us to implement that 
agreement of two years ago fully. 

In effect, therefore, this House had accepted the basic 
point that these Bills raise, that is, of Nagaland with certain 
powers etc., apart from details which are given in the Bills; 
this House has accepted it and we have acted upon that for 
all this period. 



Now, I am happy to be able to move this amendment 
because it is in continuation of the policy that we have 
followed in regard to Nagaland throughout. We have never 
relied on using military forces merelv to deal with the 
situation there, although unhappily, we had to use them 
because of the activities of certain hostile elements there. 
We have always made a political approach, the approach to 
make these people friends and citizens of India. It was in 
continuation of that that we had these conventions there 
which produced ultimately, two and a half years ago or 
thereabouts, a sixteen-point memorandum which the Nagas 
themselves brought before us and placed before us, that is, 
the Naga leaders of that Convention. We accepted it then 
not fully but we accepted it almost entirely except for some 
minor changes which we could not give effect to; and the 
matter was one of agreement between the Government 
representatives and the members of the Naga People's 
Convention. I submit that this matter, the basic matter, has 
been accepted, not in the form of a law, but it was placed 
before the House and it agreed that in the circumstances that 
should be done. Now, I am coming forward with detailed 
provisions to give effect to that agreement arrived at and 
broadly accepted by this House. 

I do not propose to go into the history of what happened 
in the Naga Hills, because this matter has been before us in 
various forms, and many questions are asked from time to 
time. After the transfer of power in 1947, the Naga Hills 
district and the Tuensang district were incorporated in the 
North-East Frontier Agency, and they were included in the 
Sixth Schedule of the Constitution. 

Later, some people organised armed resistance, and not 
only armed resistance, but there was a succession of 
murders, forcible exactions, arson etc. With great reluct- 
ance, we had to take measures, that is military measures or 
police measures to deal with the situation. May I say here 
that out military and police forces and the Assam Rifles have 
had an exceedingly difficult time there, not difficult in the 


Emergence ofNagaland 

military sense, but difficult in the sense that they had always 
to be held back by us so that innocent people might not 
suffer? It was very difficult. It was not organised armies that 
we were dealing with but snipers and others. Occasionally, 
some innocent people did suffer. We are sorry for that. We 
even took steps to punish those who were guilty, although 
they might have been innocently guilty, that is, our forces. 
And yet, in spite of all this, in spite of all the care that we 
have taken, the kind of propaganda that has been made by 
Mr Phizo and some of his lieutenants has been quite 
extraordinary and quite outrageous in its character. 

I cannot guarantee, naturally, that in several years of 
operations, things have not been done by any individual 
member of the police or the Army, which are undesirable. 
We are trying to stop that and our policy has been that these 
should not happen, but under the extreme stress and strain 
of this place, something may have happened; wherever we 
have found out, we have taken steps against them. But I do 
wish to pay a tribute to the general behaviour of our Army 
and the Assam Rifles in these Hills in the face of exceedingly 
difficult circumstances; it is not regular fighting, but picking 
them off from behind, from bushes, ambushes and the rest. 

So, this thing increased, The terrain was very difficult, and 
there was a frontier also, the frontier with Burma. Later, the 
hostile Nagas used to retreat on the other side of the frontier 
where we could not follow them; we could not go into the 
Burmese territory against the wishes of the Burmese or 
without their permission, and so, they found shelter there 
and came back when they could. 

Now, this went on for some time when this Convention, to 
which I have referred, was held. The people of Nagaland 
became exceedingly weary of the suffering they had to 
undergo and all the exactions that were made from them by 
the hostile elements, and they gathered together in a big 
convention. I think that was the first convention. 

Shri Hem Barua: On the 26th August. 



Shri Jawaharlal Nehru: It was in 1957. 
Shrimati Renu Chakravartty (Barrackpore): 22nd August 
Shri Jawaharlal Nehru: I have not got the exact date; it does 
not matter. But the first demand they made on us was that 
the Naga Hills area and the Tuensang Division should be 
made into a separate unit under the External Affairs 
Ministry. We acceded to that demand, so that although in 
theory and constitutionally these areas were still parts of the 
Assam State, in effect they were separate, made into a 
separate unit under the External Affairs Ministry that is 
under the Government of India. This has continued since 

Now, I wish to draw special attention to this fact that this 
has remained a separate unit, because now that it is 
proposed to form the State of Nagaland, it is largely 
renaming the area plus some powers given to it, Assembly 
etc. But the unit has been separate for several years. It is not 
creating a separate unit. It has been separate by the decision 
of Parliament and it has functioned as such. So that all that 
these present Bills intend doing is to rename it-in fact, even 
the naming part has been practically done-and to give it 
certain autonomy. The separation from Assam took place 
some years ago. 

It was in December 1957 that this was separated and this 
was accompanied by the general amnesty, for the release of 
convicts and undertrials responsible for offences against the 
State. A second Convention of the Naga people was held in 
May 1958. They went to the extent of appointing a liaison 
committee to contact and win over the misguided Nagas in 
support of the Convention's policy of securing the maximum 
autonomy for the areas inhabited by the Nagas in order that 
they can share the responsibilities of the government of 

This effort, however, did not meet with success. Then a 
third Convention was held at Mokokchung in October 1958 


Emergence of Nagaland 

and this prepared the 16-point memorandum for the 
consideration of Government. Their main demand was for 
the constitution of a separate State within the Indian Union 
to be known as Nagaland. Then a delegation came under the 
leadership of Dr Imkongliba Ao, President of the Conven- 
tion, and met me, two years ago, in July 1960. That resulted 
in this agreement, and subsequently the matter being placed 
before Parliament. A Council was formed and during the 
last two years it has been functioning as a preliminary to the 
changeover; progressively, the Governor, although in law he 
had authority, has acted in accordance with the wishes of the 
Council of the Nagas. 

The House may remember the tragedy when that great 
leader of the Nagas. Dr Imkongliba Ao, was shot down by 
some of the hostiles. That itself indicates the kind of people 
the hostiles are-shooting down one of their own great 
leaders who himself had at one time supported them earlier 
but had subsequently found that this would lead to no 
results, and had worked for an agreement and for peace and 
harmony there. 

In the agreement that was arrived at, there was a 
transitional period, as desired by the Naga leaders them- 
selves, during which an Interim Body consisting of 45 
members chosen from the tribes of Nagaland and a Council 
of not more than 5 members from the Interim Body were to 
be constituted, to assist and advise the Governor in the 
administration of Nagaland. These interim arrangements 
were brought into force and had been functioning satisfac- 
torily. Elections to the village, range and tribal councils had 
been held and the administration of Nagaland has in- 
creasingly become the responsibility of the representatives 
of the Naga people themselves. 

Apart from the desirability of this change on the merits it 
is something to which we are completely committed. I would 
submit that even this Parliament is committed to it, apart 
from the minor points of it, and any hesitation in giving 
effect to it will not have good results; it will show that we 



give our word and cannot keep it, which is not a good thing 
for a government and certainly not for Parliament. 

The State of Nagaland Bill we are considering has certain 
special provisions. One is that for the time being the 
Governor will have special powers in regard to law and 
order and finance, but as soon as the situation is normal 
that will not be so. That can be declared by the President. I 
may add that all those special clauses have been made by the 
Naga leaders. As for finances, the actual income of 
Nagaland is very little at present. It could be more, but it is 
httle. The Government of India has been spending a large 
sum of money in welfare schemes and we thought that the 
Governor should have special powers to see that the 
finances were not misused. 

These are the two temporary powers that he is given. As 
soon as the situation improves, the Ministry which will be in 
existence in Nagaland will be in charge completely. 

But there is one part of this State of Nagaland, which is 
the Tuensang Division or District. That has been treated 
separately, not because we wanted to treat it separately but 
because the Tuensang representatives wanted it to be 
treated separately and the Naga representatives who had 
come to that Convention agreed with that. This area is 
somewhat more backward than the other two districts of 
Nagaland. Therefore, it has been decided that this area will 
have a Regional Council, and the Governor will play a little 
greater part in that area for the first ten years, the period 
being shortened if need arises. 

I should like to stress that this proviso about the Tuensang 
district is not of our seeking. We agreed to it because the 
representatives of Tuensang and the representatives of the 
Nagas put it forward, and we thought it was a proper 
provision to make for the future, because conditions are 
different, and they were a little afraid, that is; the people of 
Tuensang, that their interests might not be properly looked 
after otherwise. 


Emergence ofNagaland 

13 hrs. 

It is proposed that the Governor of Nagaland will also 
be the Governor of Assam, or the other way about, the 
Governor of Assam will be the Governor of Nagaland; that 
is, he will be there not as Governor of Assam, but as 
Governor of Nagaland. 

Also, it is too cumbersome a procedure to have another 
High Court. The High Court of Assam will continue to 
function for Nagaland. 

I do not wish to go into further details of this. Naturally, in 
forming a State with all kinds of special provisions, the Bills 
are rather lengthy. For instance, we do not wish to interfere 
with their tribal customs, tribal ways of justice, and therefore 
we have left these tribal laws intact, and their tribal councils 
will deal with them; and an exception has been made about 
that, as well as about transfer of land. 

Thus, by these Bills, we do an important part, that is add 
to the number of autonomous States of the Indian Union. 
The State is a small one, and the State, for the time being, 
will have certain restrictions on its autonomy in regard to 
law and order and finance, and certain special provisions in 
regard to the Tuensang District. Otherwise, it will be a full 
State of the Union, and in course of time, I hope as the 
situation returns to normality, it will have all the other 
powers of the State of the Indian Union. 

I think that considering the background that we have had, 
and the trouble we have had in this area, it is a happy 
consummation that we solve it not purely by military means, 
but by this political and friendly approach, making them 
equal partners in this Union of India to all the other States 
and to ourselves. I beg to move. 

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Mr Speaker: Order, order. Now Swamiji would allow me 
to proceed. Motion moved: 

"That the Bill further to amend the Constitution of India, 
be taken into consideration." 

"That the Bill to provide for the formation of the State of 
Nagaland and for matters connected therewith, be taken 
into consideration." 

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Emergence ofNagaland 

Shri Jawaharlal Nehru: Mr Speaker, Sir, the House has 
on L whole welcomed these Bills. Some hom Members 
have pointed out some defects in them and have suggested 



some amendments. I shall deal with them a little later. But 
on the whole every hon. Member who has spoken, except 
one or perhaps two, has welcomed the whole idea under- 
lying these Bills. I am happy about that. 

Before I deal with these Bills I should like to say a few 
words about what our fundamental approach should be. 
That approach has been, not from today but from the day of 
independence and even before that, that we shall build up a 
united India with the goodwill of the Indian people 
preserving the variety of India in its unity. That has been the 
approach and not the approach fundamentally, of the hon. 
Member opposite, Shri Trivedi, who believes in everything 
which divides India although he talks about the unity of 
India. I was amazed at the crudity of his approach and his 
expressions in the House today which, if given effect to, 
would split India into a thousand fragments. He calls himself 
a nationalist and yet his nationalism is confined to the 
frog-in-the-well policy where he believes that he is a 
nationalist and everybody else is not a nationalist; the 
Muslims are not nationalists; the Christians are not national- 
ists. Everybody who is not a Hindu is not a nationalist. 
Apparently that will be the next stage. 

Shri U.M. Trivedi: That is not what I have said. I never 
meant that. 

Shri Jawaharlal Nehru: That is what he said about 
Muslims to my ears. But I am very glad that he does not 
believe in that. 

So, I take it that Shri Trivedi believes that India consists of 
Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Buddhists and atheists and 
that everybody who lives in India is a full-fledged nationalist. 
Let us understand that. 

Shri U.M. Trivedi: Everybody who believes in India and 
believes himself to be an Indian has got a right to live in this 
country. That is what I believe in. 

Shri Buta Singh (Moga): Please do not forget or try to 
neglect the Sikhs. 

Shri Jawaharlal Nehru: The hon. Member has now 


Emergence of Nagaland 

denned his creed. Everybody who lives in India and believes 
himself to be an Indian has a right to live in it. That right, of 
course, he has in law in spite of Shri Trivedi. But the point is 
whether he is in any way in his opinion any the less 
nationalist than he is. I think personally-and I speak with 
great respect-that he is not a nationalist-I mean Shri 
Trivedi-because nationalism is something which includes 
everybody in India. 

Shri U.M, Trivedi: To make that statement that I am not a 
nationalist is going too far. 

Shri Jawaharlal Nehru: I said so with all respect. 
Nationalism cannot be confined to a religion, however great 
that religion may be. Nationalism is something to the nation 
and everything pertaining to that nation comes within its 
scope. The hon. Member and some others, perhaps very few 
in this House fortunately, and some outside believe in that 
and talk in terms of nationalism as if that was their private 
preserve and everybody who did not fall in line with them is 
outside that domain. That is the mind which, I can very well 
understand, does not appreciate this Bill. It talks about 
disruption. The hon. Member who spoke last went on 
talking about disruption because a State was being created. I 
do not understand that. I am not quite sure if his idea was 
that India should be one unitary whole and the creation of a 
State is disruption. He did not say that but I think this was 
the trend of his argument. I do not understand that. That is 
fundamentally opposed to our approach which is that the 
great variety of India should be contained within our unity. 
India has grown great in the past and has lived thousands of 
years. If India or the great men of India in the past had 
followed the policy suggested by the hon. Member opposite, 
India's greatness would not have risen to the heights that it 
did. Indian culture spread all over Asia. Indians went 
abroad. Others came here, and they were absorbed here. 
Their ideas were absorbed; their religions were absorbed, so 
that India is a country of many religions which are all Indian 
in a sense because they have been here for hundreds and 



hundreds of years. India is not a one-religion country or a 
one-language country. These are the varieties that have 
come together to make this great Indian nation. And what 
makes an individual or a community or a nation great is its 
wideness of vision, its receptiveness, not its exclusiveness, 
not untouchability. Unfortunately, exclusiveness came to 
India and made a very great people narrow-minded and 
small and led to their fall. 

Well, I hope that we aim in a different way, in a different 
direction. We are not exclusive. And I hope that a time will 
come, as it is rapidly coming, when even nationalism is not 
enough. When people are going to the stars and to the moon 
and that, nationalism, that is, the concept of national 
boundaries etc. is getting rapidly out of date. However, that 
is not for the present. And, therefore, our whole approach 
has to be to welcome all people who live in India as of one 
family, whatever religion they may belong to, and whatever 
customs they may have, and work in co-operation with all. 

This Bill, as I stated is right Bill. I am talking on the 
merits of the two Bills. But, apart from that, it is the product 
of an agreement, an agreement not only based on the 
original sixteen-point memorandum which came two years 
ago, which Mr Imkonglibo Ao brought here with his 
colleagues. But even after this Bill was drafted, it was largely 
by agreement with their representatives, that is, the Naga 
leaders, who came here and had seen it, so that many of the 
criticisms made in regard to some provisions in it are rather 
beside the point. 

For instance, some of the criticisms made were about the 
Governor's powers. First of all, we should realise that so far 
as this Bill goes, it establishes a full-fledged State. It is not a 
restricted State. It is a full-fledged State with certain 
temporary restrictions. The temporary restrictions are, first 
in regard to the law and order situation, secondly in regard 
to certain finances, and thirdly in regard to the Tuensang 
district. These are the three where there are temporary 
restrictions. For the rest, it is a full-fledged State. 


Emergence ofNagaland 

Now, in regard to the first restriction in regard to the law 
and order situation, hon. Members will realise, as our Naga 
friends realise, that the situation, still in Nagaland is one 
which is not quite normal. It has to be dealt with 
abnormally. We hope that it is much more normal than it 
was, but it has to be dealt with abnormally. Therefore, it is 
desirable for the Governor to shoulder that burden partially; 
of course, partly, the Ministry there will shoulder the 
burden, but it is not right to leave it to them entirely; it is a 
heavy burden. In regard to that, it is stated here that as soon 
as the conditions return to normal, the Governor will report 
to the President to put an end to these special provisions, so 
that it is a temporary provision which is necessitated by the 
conditions of today. 

As for finances, we have rather an odd position here. 
These finances mean, apart from small sums, the moneys 
given by the Central Government by way of subvention. Of 
course, subventions are given to other States too, but a great 
part of their expenditure comes from their own revenues. 
But, here a small part only comes from their own revenues. 
Since large sums are going, it was thought that the 
representatives of the Central Government, or call them 
what you will, should be partly responsible for the disposal 
of these funds, which mostly, goes, of course, for develop- 
mental works. It requires some experience and some 
judgement as to how to do it. They can raise their own 
revenues. All revenues will, of course, be spent with their 
concurrence. The final decision in matters of this kind will 
temporarily be the Governor's. 

As for the Tuensang district, whatever has been put down 
is word for word what was suggested by the representatives 
of the Tuensang district and agreed to generally by the Naga 
leaders. For various reasons, into which I need not go, the 
Tuensang district people require it. They wanted it. We 
agreed to it. It did not strike us to have special provisions for 
them, but when they wanted it and when the Naga leaders 
agreed to it, we had no choice in the matter. 



So far as the Governor is concerned, he is not grand Moghui 
sitting there and doing things. The Governor is the servant 
not only of the Central Government, not only of the 
President but of this Parliament. He has always to function 
under strict limitations and whatever he does come up here 
and before Government. 

Shri Bade: If there is a difference of opinion, the 
Governor's opinion will prevail. That is the provision here. 

Shri Jawaharlal Nehru: Shrimati Renu Chakravartty 
asked: why not a separate High Court; why not a separate 
Governor? Well, why a separate High Court?-I ask. Here is 
the High Court of Assam which, I am glad to say of all High 
Courts in India, has no arrears of work. 
Shri Hari Vishnu Kamath: Because it is very efficient. 
Shri Hem Barua: That shows how smart we are. 
Shri Jawaharlal Nehru: To create another High Court 
there for a relatively small area, with not enough work, with 
very little work, is hardly worthwhile. Of course, it is open 
to the High Court, specially it is always open to the Chief 
Justice, to have a Bench there or do anything of that kind. 
That is a different matter. But it would not be worthwhile 
from any point of view to increase the number of High 
Courts for such small areas. 

As for a separate Governor, there is nothing in these draft 
Bills which prevents that. At the present moment, I think it 
is desirable to have the same Governor. I do not say it is 
likely that it will continue to be desirable. But I say that 
there is nothing to prevent that. 

There is another thing. The Governor of Assam has a 
special responsibility in regard to NEFA. The North-East 
Frontier Agency used to include the Tuensang region that 
was separated two or three years ago by Parliament. 
Conditions are different in the two places. Nevertheless, he 
has a special responsibility. That is why, if I may say so,' we 
have to take very special caie about whom we send as 
Governor to Assam. He has, of course, the same functions 
as Governors have elsewhere plus something plus NEFA. 

220 Emergence of Nagaland 

Shri Hem Barua: The Governor of Assam is the most 
heavily worked Governor in India. 

Shri Jawaharlal Nehru: Yes, he has heavy work and great 
responsibilities. We have had a very eminent Governor who 
has done very well and we are sending very soon a very 
experienced public servant there, because he has to face 
difficult problems. Therefore, it is purely from the point of 
view of practicality that it is desirable to have the same 
person as Governor Of Nagaland. Of course, he is Governor 
of Nagaland because he is separately Governor of Nagaland, 
but there would be no point in appointing a Governor there 
who, the chances are, would not be so experienced. 

Shrimati Renu Chakravartty: What would be his seat of 
office? Will it be Shillong or Mokokchung in Nagaland? 
When you are giving him such large administrative 
functions-not only political functions, but also administra- 
tive functions-would it not be better that you have a 
separate Governor? 

Shri Hari Vishnu Kamath: By rotation. He will function in 
both places by rotation. 

Shri Jawaharlal Nehru: He will go to both places. 

Some hon. Members thought that by creating this 
Nagaland the financial burden would be very great, Rs. 4, but they did not seem to realise that those figures, 
that that burden is more now. The fact is that the area that is 
going to be called Nagaland has been separate, a separate 
entity all along; nothing is being separated. It was separated 
some time back, some years back, it has been functioning 
like that. Now that separate entity is being given a certain 
name. The separation does not take place now. It took place 
years ago, but it is given some autonomy, and the amount, 
what has been spent on that separate entity thus far, is likely 
to be spent in future. The separation again does not add to 
the expenditure at least I do not suppose it will add very 

Then, some one asked me about NEFA and Manipur and 
Tripura. NEFA stands on an entirely separate footing, and 



moment no 7 ™ nc ™ d > we have, at the present 

tL T? mtenti ° n ° f Chan ^ the adminis- 

tration there. It is not very easy to apply some general rules 

-erywhere regardless of conditions. So far as Manipur and 

leX thT H COn T, ned ' P resumab, y f airly soon, my col- 
league, he Home Mmister would put forward suggestions or 

b3t ^ y h ni ° n Temt0neS ' and th ° Se P-Posals are 
based on giving them a large measure of autonomy. 

I really do not know why I should take the time of the 

wouldhST H u 0aS& " S ° agreeable t0 these Bllls ' b »t I 
Z f h 1° th f S ° mething h3S been said abo "t Assam, 
th J h a A ASSembly resolutl °n- It is perfectly true 

distaste' t71 en f y Vi6Wed thlS qUeSti ° n Wlth some 
passed l£* T° IUtl0n they P assed was Presumably 
all thftT? relucta *ce, but we must recognise first of 

Thi v, nu aS u n °uu tWng f ° r the Assam Assembly. 
This very Bill which has come up today was envisaged more 

urorke 0 toT ^ ^ W£ k " eW h * not a 

surprise to them. 

Secondly, whatever they may have had in their hearts, this 
area was separated from Assam some years ago completely. 
They had nothing to do with it in the last two or three years 

wh£h°? y reC ° gnising 3 fact ' and recognising another fact 
which I am prepared perfectly to admit, as we should admit 
whenever there is some failure on our own part What 
happened in this Naga territory, and the troubles we have 
had and the Naga people have had, have distressed us 
exceedingly, distressed us for a variety of reasons, because 
first any such problem distresses one, and secondly, that 
we should have to use the military and our police force to 
deal with people is always distressing. But what I was going 
to say was this, that in some measure at least, the fault was 

h"Lr / hat ° f thC AsSam G °vernment-I am including 
both the Central Government and the Assam Government It 
may be our fault because we did not pay enough attention' to 
begin with. We were busy after independence with our own 
innumerable problems, and perhaps if we had dealt with it 


Emergence of Nagaland 

and it the Assam Government which was directly in charge 
had dealt with it, somewhat differently, the consequences 
might have been different. That may be. I am not blaming 
anybody. Because I am including ourselves. There it is, but 
a certain situation having arisen, we have to find a way out 
of it. There is no use getting annoyed at everything that 
happens. And, I do think that the way out which we have 
found is a good way on the merits and it is a good way above 
all because I think it is satisfactory to a great majority of the 
Naga people. And, what is more, it will, I earnestly hope, 
bring about not only superficial changes but changes of heart 
among the people so that there may be co-operation 
between all of us. 

It is interesting to see, talking about the Assembly, that 
the two Members-as far as I can see only two from Assam 
spoke-have supported these Bills heartily and fully. And, 
the speech which I am sure all hon. Members must have 
intended to with great interest here, was the speech from my 
young colleague, the representative from the Nagaland 
itself. He spoke with fire, young as he is and with greater 
authority because he comes from that place, and knows the 
place and he knows the people and he is one of the people. 
Therefore, I venture to say that these Bills should be 
formally approved and passed as they are. 

Mr Speaker: I will now put the amendment of Shri Bade 

Shri Bade: Yes, Sir; both the amendments. 

Mr Speaker: I will first put the amendment regarding the 
Nagaland Bill because I have said that the division will take 
place at five. 

The amendment was put and negatived. 

Mr Speaker: Then I will put the motion to the vote. 

The question is: 

"That the Bill to provide for the formation of the State of 
Nagaland and for matters connected therewith be taken into 

The motion was adopted. 



Mr Speaker: I will now put the second motion also 
The question is: 

"That the Bill further to amend the Constitution of India 
be taken into consideration.'' 

This requires a statutory majority, as hon. Members 
know. If there are some Members outside we may ring the 
bell. Every hon. Member shall be in his seat. 

Shri Hari Vishnu Kamath: Shall we go into the lobbies or 
will the votes be taken by the automatic machine? 
Mr Speaker: If the automatic machine works, we will try 
Shri Hari Vishnu Kamath: It often does not work- it is 
much safer to go into the lobbies. 

Shri Tyagi: It is not necessary unless a division is called 

Mr Speaker: If it does not work, then we shall distribute 
chits to the hon. Members and collect them. Before that I 
have to put Shri Bade's amendment to this Bill to the vote of 
the House. I shall now put Shri Bade's amendment to the 
vote of the House. 

The amendment was put and negatived. 

Mr Speaker: Now, I shall put the motion for considera- 

The question is: 

"That the Bill further to amend the Constitution of India 
be taken into consideration." 
The Lok Sabha divided. 
Some Hon. Members rose- 
Mr Speaker: One by one. 

Dr Calaco: Sir, I vote for 'Ayes'; my machine is not 
working and so it has not been recorded 

BILL, 1962. 

Mr Chairman: For the sake of convenience and 
economy of time both the motions regarding the Constitu- 
tion (Thirteenth Amendment) Bill, 1962, and the State of 
Nagaland Bill, 1962, may be considered together and moved 


Emergence of Nagaland 

by the Prime Minister. 

The Prime Minister and Minister of External Affairs (Shri 
Jawaharlal Nehru): I am grateful, Sir, for suggesting that 
these two motions should be taken up together. I shall move 
them one after the other; of course, in the consideration at 
the second reading stage they may be taken up separately 
clause by clause. But they are wholly interdependent, and it 
is difficult clearly to consider one without keeping in mind 
the other. 

Sir, I beg to move: 

"That the Bill further to amend the Constitution of India, 
as passed by the Lok Sabha, be taken into consideration." 
Sir, I also beg to move: 

"That the Bill to provide for the formation of the State of 
Nagaland and for matters connected therewith, as passed by 
the Lok Sabha, be taken into consideration." 

This House is aware of the history behind these two Bills. 
About two years ago or thereabout this matter was 
considered together with the representatives of the Naga 
People's Convention, and ultimately a certain settlement 
was arrived at about the formation of the State of Nagaland. 
It was, I admit, somewhat unusual for a relatively small area 
to be formed into a State. There is nothing against it, and the 
peculiar circumstances prevailing there-I am not referring 
to the disorder and the law and order difficulties that we 
have had although they are very much before us-the special 
circumstances of the place induced us to agree to the 
proposal that they should be made a State. But although we 
agreed to that, there were certain difficulties in the way; 
first, the law and order position, and secondly, the financial 
position of the State was not a very happy one. It depended 
very largely on subventions made by the Central Govern- 
ment. Mostly subventions are for development of the area. 
It was, therefore, decided in agreement with the representa- 
tives of the Naga People's Convention that there should be 
for a certain period certain powers reserved to the Gov- 
ernor, certain powers relating to the law and order position 



and to financial position. These are only till such time as the 
Governor thinks that they are necessary. The Governor of 
course functions as a representative, as an agent of the 
Central Government, and he will be in constant touch with 
us. Now, as a matter of fact, although Nagaland was not 
declared to be a State of the Union, it has been a separate 
entity for some years. Constitutionally, I suppose, it has 
continued to be part of Assam, but some two or three years 
back it was formally separated and constituted into a 
separate entity under the Union Government, and Tuensang 
Division which was a part of NEFA. North East Frontier 
Agency, but which is inhabited by Nagas was attached to this 
Naga area. Now Tuensang is somewhat different from the 
rest of Nagaland because, I do not wish to use the word but 
m some way it is a little more backward, and the Tuensang 
people's representatives themselves were a little anxious 
that they should not be put completely on the same level as 
the rest of Nagas, and they wanted a period when they 
should be .both joined on to this of course as a State but 
where they would have a Regional Council and the 
Governor would have certain additional powers in regard to 
the Tuensang Division. 

The whole point is that these two Bills resulted from the 
agreement arrived at with the representatives of the Con- 
vention of Naga leaders as well as Tuensang leaders, and I 
submit, sir, that having accepted that and created a separate 
entky and later accepted the idea of a State, you must abide 
by the agreement arrived at. Making changes here and there 
would probably not fit in with the scheme and would not fit 
in with the agreement arrived at. For instance, the reserve 
powers of the Governor both in regard to the Tuensang 
Division and generally in regard to Nagaland were specially 
agreed to by the representatives of the Convention who met 
us, and indeed they originally passed their resolution in a 
convention and subsequently came to discuss details with us 
and we agreed to them. So, I would beg of the House to 
consider these as a whole and not amend them so as to take 



Emergence ofNagaland 

away any essential part of them which was agreed to. 

Some hon. Members perhaps do not like the name of the 
State to be Nagaland. Frankly the Naga leaders were 
anxious to have that name, and we thought that it was best 
to please them in this matter when they attach so much 
importance to it. There was no particular reason against it 
and so we agreed, and I hope this House will agree. 

Having decided on creating a State of Nagaland, which is 
a full State of the Indian Union, I should like to say, subject 
for a temporary period to some reserve powers in the hands 
of the Governor, it becomes necessary to amend the 
Constitution, and the first Bill that I have moved before the 
House is therefore, the Constitution (Amendment) Bill. The 
second deals with details about the State of Nagaland. I 
submit, Sir, that these Bills should be accepted by this 
House and adopted. I would like to say that the law and 
order conditions in Nagaland, though very much better now 
than they were are still not wholly satisfactory. Only about 
two or three days ago a member of the Interim Council of 
Nagaland, Mr Phom, was murdered, and that itself is 
evidence of the abnormal conditions that prevail there and 
the necessity of some reserve powers to be given in the 
hands of the Governor. But even so, even before these Bills 
are passed, although in theory the Governor had all powers, 
our instructions to the Governor were, when tbey were 
carried out, to consult the Interim Council on all the 
measures to be taken and to act as far as possible in 
accordance with their advice. He has done that. Now, of 
course, with the passage of these Bills, the Governor would 
all the more accept the advice of the Government of 
Nagaland that may be formed under these Acts. But it is 
desirable, in view of these law and order difficulties, for the 
Governor to have authority to deal with any emergency 
situation that might arise. As the House knows, the matter is 
being dealt with, to some extent, in parts of Nagaland by the 
Assam Rifles and by some of our Army people. It is easier 



fu r tho h r e ity GOVern0r t0 d£aI With k than f ° r ™y 0ther S ^te 
I submit, therefore, Sir, that these two Bills-the Constitu- 
tion (Thirteenth Amendment) Bill, 1962 as well as the sSte 
of Nagaland Bill, 1962-be taken up for consideration 
ine questions were proposed 

v a nl^?7 an: Member desiring to speak may take 

Gurunl T*"*™ ° f ^ the BiHs - 1 WOuld ca]1 U P™ Shri 
uurupada Swamy to speak. 

Shri M.S Gurupada Swamy (Mysore): Mr Chairman Sir 
I welcome the Bills as anybody should do, granting the right 
and privilege of self-rule to the Nagas for which they hat 
been fighting since more than a decade. These two Bins 
mark the political settlement of a problem wSw 
afflicting not only the Nagas but also many people in the res 
of he country. The Prime Minister was particularly th Tn 
stating that the Nagas should be treated /little bit different Y 
because the conditions there are not yet settled, they are Sui 
not^ aharasht Therefore) the ent . re > J ^ still 

unoorTth 0 n§htS WhiCh WC may Claim from them today. I 
support the measure. 

snri Jawaharlal Nehru: Madam, I would like to exnre« 
my gratitude to all the Members of the House who have 

XPreTs 2 V? ° me K d ^ mCaSUre - In Particular m h a a y l 
express the feehng I have had and which I am sure 

ir^e^shr thi ; Hous ; wiU share > ° f 

last speaker Shri Jairamdas Daulatram, for the fine 
uenverea: it out of his knowledge, not merelv from „ 

wTSanEt b «e was hirlTle™ 
Assam i, T T "ensang Division, and as Governor of 
NEFAa S IT 1 "P**** to deal with the 
„ X ? her term °™s. What he said was so much 

Rut^' h0WCVer ' Hke t0 CX P lain one or two points Prof 
Ruthnaswamy said that this BUI was not artistically drafted 


Emergence ofNagaland 

Perhaps, he is right. But we were not writing on a clean 
slate We had to incorporate in it an agreement arrived & 
with the representatives of the Naga People's Convention 
and that perhaps to some extent, came in the way of 
artistry. Also we were not writing a full constitution for the 
State, but rather putting in this agreement that we had, and 
that introduced some special features which otherwise would 
not have been there. If the agreement had not been there 
and only a new State had been created, the Bill would have 
been a very small one, not a whole complete introduction ot 
a State. All that the Constitution contains. Their charter is 
not this Bill. Their charter is the Constitution of India plus 
this Bill. So, it is true and may be that if we had the 
advantage of some of the hon. Members of this House, we 
might have improved the language here and there, b or 
instance, Mr Mani has suggested an amendment which, 
prima facie, appears to be a better form of words. Yet I dare 
not accept it because it is a form of words and it is not of vital 
consequence, and I would rather adhere to what the 
agreement lays down than change it. Apart from that, Mr 
Mani objected to the phrase "internal disturbance and said 
something about it. I would like to remind him that in our 
Constitution in Articles 352 and 355 these words occur 
repeatedly. For instance, Article 352 says: 

''If the President is satisfied that a grave emergency exists 
whereby the security of India or of any part of the territory 
thereof is threatened, whether by war or external aggression 
or internal disturbance, he may, by Proclamation, make a 
declaration to that effect." 
Again in Article 355 it is stated: 
"It shall be the duty of the Union to protect every State 
against external aggression and internal disturbance'^ 

So it is not a new phrase that is used here. I would submit 
that though the words of Mr Mani's amendment read better, 
nevertheless, because of the fact that this represents more 
the agreement, it should be there. Also, frankly, I should 
not like that this Bill should be delayed and go back to the 

Appendices 22s 
Lok Sabha again. 

Now, many of our hon. Members will have in mind the 
history of the past ten or twelve years in regard to this area. I 
do not wish to go into it. Mr Jairamdas Daulatram referred 
to an incident where the killing of the postal runner led to 
retribution and revenge on a big scale. It may interest the 
House to know that this incident had nothing to do with our 
forces, it was one tribe against another, and yet this is one of 
the major charges that Mr Phizo brings against our forces. 
He is collecting all these charges and says that we sacked and 
killed sixty persons to which reference was made. It was the 
early days when this thing happened. Since then, much has 

Now, from the very first stage, I cannot say the first stage 
but from the earliest period, the then Governor of Assam, 
Sir Akbar Hydari, dealt with the Nagas and came to some 
kind of agreement with them, the ten-point agreement, I 
think, it is called. I confessed frankly to him that we were so 
wholly occupied with our troubles here-it was immediately 
after independence and we had the vast migration and other 
troubles-that although I was the Prime Minister I had not 
considered the ten-point agreement. Later on, when the 
Constitution was being drafted, the Sixth Schedule was 
introduced specially for these tribal areas in Assam, Naga- 
land, etc. and although we all took part in it, perhaps if we 
had the knowledge that we possess today, we might have 
worded it differently. The question of amending the Sixth 
Schedule has been with us for the last several years not 
merely because of Nagaland but because of the hill areas, 
the hill districts and the autonomous districts. Even then, 
according to the Sixth Schedule, these hill areas including 
Nagaland were given a considerable measure of autonomy 
for their districts. Our first approach, therefore, was to give 
them autonomy, may be less or more, but to give them 
autonomy. Subsequently, we repeatedly discussed the mat- 
ter in the early days with Mr Phizo himself and then with 
others representing the Nagas, hostile or not, and always we 


Emergence ofNagaland 

made it clear to them that we want to give them the fullest 
autonomy within the Indian Union. It is true that I told them 
that I was not prepared to discuss any secession from the 
Indian Union but short of that I was prepared to discuss 
anything with them. 

So, this is not a new development of policy or a change in 
our outlook that has induced us to bring this Bill but rather 
certain developing circumstances. We could not by ourselves 
enact anything like this unless they were willing to have this 
and unless we agreed with them. This process took a number 
of years. They held then their first convention and then a 
year or two later the second convention was held which was 
largely attended by the representatives of the various tribes 
of Nagaland and in the third convention in another year they 
passed and formulated this paper of sixteen heads of 
agreement. It was only then that the matter became ripe 
enough for us to consider. We did not want to produce a 
constitution for them and thrust it on them. We wanted it to 
come from them so that they may have a feeling of getting 
what they wanted, not that they had to accept whatever was 
given to them. 

These areas were troubled areas, and as the House knows, 
constantly there were attacks, there were ambushes and 
people were killed. Large numbers of people have been 
killed in these areas. While we had to deal with them in the 
normal manner, maintain normal law and order with the 
help of the police or the military we had always in view the 
fact that we had to win over the Nagas and make them feel 
that they were one with us. When they talked of independ- 
ence to me, I asked them, "What do you mean by talking 
about independence? You are independent just as much 
as I am and you have as much freedom and authority 
as any other person in India." Now, to get this idea accepted 
by them was a problem. It was, as Mr Jairamdas Daulatram 
said, a question of some emotional integration. You cannot 
do that unless you realise completely that all the steps we are 
taking, army steps, military steps, were essential, were 



necessary. They were essential, they were necessary and we 
could not do without them but some other process had to be 
adopted. We tried to start it although it was difficult in the 
circumstances. You cannot have two rather contradictory 
processes, that is, a military process fighting people and a 
conciliatory process. They somehow conflict and yet they 
were carried out during all these years, except for the early 
two years or so when it was difficult to have any develop- 
mental work there, to have any schools, even the old schools 
ceased to function because of the terroristic tactics of the 
hostiles, yet, within the last two or three years, we have 
started developmental works. I am sorry I have not got the 
figures but hundreds of schools were started, a number of 
high schools, some colleges, technical institutes, etc., were 
started and in the field of agriculture too much was done. All 
this was done partly because the people required it and 
partly, and deliberately, to make them feel that they can live 
a free and happy life so that this then is the developmental 
policy that has been pursued right from the beginning. 
Sometimes circumstances made it difficult for us to go ahead 
in this direction as much as we wanted but I am hapoy that at 
present although we are not wnolly out of the wooa, I 
admit, yet I feel we are very near the edge of it and the 
situation is much better even though, as I said, a young man, 
a member of the Naga Council, was shot dead only two or 
three days ago. It shows how the people are functioning. 
The members of the Naga Council and other Naga leaders 
are co-operating. Our officers and others are constantly 
facing danger and even death. I am happy that this stage has 
been reached and these two Bills will soon, I hope, be the 
law of the land and will establish the new State in the 
brotherhood of the States in India and I am sure that they 
will have this idea of emotional integration and feeling that 
they are part of India and that they can live freely as 
independent citizens governing their own State as they wish 
and they will be partners in the larger adventure that we are 
undertaking in India. This idea will grow there. 


Emergence ofNagalaad 

Now, Madam, although the State is just like any other 
State-it has to be realised that it is a full State-certain 
powers are reserved temporarily for the Governor. It is not 
permanent. As soon as he thinks or feels that the situation so 
necessitates, he will give up his power and the State will have 
full autonomy and powers. 

Shri Dahyabhai wanted to know whether the Chief 
Minister will be called the Prime Minister or the Chief 
Minister. He will be called the Chief Minister, of course, like 
any other place. Well, in regard to the powers of the 
Governor, apart from the fact that this is part of the terms of 
the agreement, I would like to assure the House that it was 
not as if we laid great stress on these powers. They were 
agreed to without much discussion and as for fixing the 
powers of the Governor in regard to the Tuensang district, 
pressure came from them, not from us. Actually, pressure 
came from the Tuensang representatives who, I believe, 
were a little nervous at being put under the new Govern- 
ment of Nagaland to begin with. As Shri Jairamdas 
Daulatram said, the people of Nagaland minus Tuensang are 
educationally and otherwise more advanced. And these 
Tuensang people wanted, if I may use the word, some 
protection and it was their proposal, their insistence that the 
Governor as representing the Government of India should 
have these powers for ten years or so. At the same time they 
wanted to join. They have got a Regional Council. The 
House will observe that it has been laid down that one of 
their number will be among the Ministers of Nagaland 
Government. So, while they become part and parcel of this 
Nagaland State they want some kind of a slightly separate 
existence for ten years. And we agreed and I must say that 
the Nagaland people also agreed. This was not a disputed 
point. This was an agreed point so that broadly speaking all 
the powers that are given to the Governor were parts of the 
agreement, of course, broadly speaking. But what I meant 
was they did not give rise to much argument and I think we 
should keep them. All these things depend very greatly on 

Appendices y 

the persons who exercise them. The Governor, of course, is 
the representative of the Government of India, of President; 
whatever he does he refers to the Government of India, that 
is, the External Affairs Ministry, but apart from that the 
personality does count, and we have taken trouble therefore 
to choose for the Governors of Assam rather specially. A 
distinguished Member of this House, Mr Jairamdas Daulat- 
ram was there as Governor. The Governor there has a 
double function or triple function. Not only is he the 
Governor but he is the direct representative of the Govern- 
ment of India for the North-East Frontier Agency and used 
to be for Nagaland also. There was Mr Fazl Ali who became 
very popular and indeed I understand that the people are 
putting up a memorial to him in Nagaland in the shape of a 
college called after his name. Then there was General 
Shrinagesh who was peculiarly suited to the place because 
unfortunately in the last few years there have been these 
military operations there and we thought a military person 
of note would be able to understand them and co-ordinate 
civil activities with the military. And now within a few days 
we are sending one of our most experienced officers, Shri 
Vishnu Sahay. So, what I wanted to put before the House 
was that the Governors we send there are even more 
specially selected than Governors elsewhere where they 
have to be only purely constitutional Governors. 

I think Mr Ruthnaswamy laid great stress on a separate 
Governor for Nagaland. Well, to begin with we have this: ltis 
open under the Act, there is nothing to prevent separate 
Governors being appointed when considered necessary, but 
at the present moment we did think and we do think that one 
Governor is more desirable. It is not so much a question of 
more money being paid although there is no reason why we 
should waste money; it is not that question. The question is, 
the Governor of Assam even under the present circum- 
stances has special responsibility for NEFA; they are special 
responsibilities and much the same I should say for 
Tuensang and because of that we thought that one man 


Emergence of Nagaland 

dealing with these areas with relatively common problems 
would be desirable. And some of our friends in Assam are 
regretful about Nagaland becoming a separate State. 
Although they accept it they are naturally rather sorry 
although I might remind the House that separation really 
came in effect some years ago when it became a separate 
entity. It is only constitutionally it has come now. So, 
although it is a separate State we thought it would be a good 
thing if one or two links were left. One link was the common 
Governor. Another link was High Court. They do not 
interfere with the internal freedom of the State and we 
thought it would be a good thing to have these two links 
because after all they are neighbours and they have to carry 
on in a friendly way. 

Then Mr Nafisul Hasan said something about Clause 27 of 
the Nagaland Bill. He seemed to think that there is some 
difficulty about this. There is nothing extraordinary about 
this. This has been repeated in many other places. If you see 
Article 3 of the Constitution it says that Parliament may by 
law form a new State by separation of territory from any 
State, increase the area of any State, diminish the area of 
any State, etc. It did not require, therefore, a constitutional 
amendment if only this had to be done. Articles 2. 3 and 4 
refer to this being done by law. Now Clause 27 of the Bill 
refers in particular to certain adaptation of a Jaw for a 
particular area, the substance remaining the same. Some- 
times very minor things come in the way and if you apply the 
law as it is in its rigidity, it may not fit in with the Tuensang 
district, it is an obvious condition and very different. But it is 
not construed entirely differently but accepting the sub- 
stance minor matters may be there. It is a very desirable 
provision which has been given I believe in other Acts too. 
My colleague here reminds me that in the recent Act passed 
about Nagar Haveli this particular phrase occurs. 

Mr Dahyabhai Patel said sometning about the name, 
Nagaland. Frankly I would have prefer red»-not that I have 
any objection to Nagaland-Naga Pradesh. We did suggest 



that but they have strong sentimental attachment to Naga- 
land. They have been calling it this way for some years past 
and sometimes, as hon. Members will realise, sentiment is a 
strong thing and we did not think that we should by-pass or 
come in the way of that sentiment. Well, it did not make any 
difference and so we accepted Nagaland. 

Mr Dahyabhai also referred to the question of land in 
Nagaland and he referred to Kashmir too. May I remind him 
that the rule in Kashmir that no non-Kashmiri can possess 
land is a very old one, I should think at least 100 years old? It 
is from the 19th century; the old Maharajas introduced it. 
The original reason for its introduction was rather a wise 
one. They did not want crowds of Britishers to come in, 
occupy land and settle down there, because the climate of 
Kashmir was peculiarly suited to them and peculiarly 
pleasant. They did not just want it. At some time about a 
hundred years ago, there was actually a rule that at one 
single time not more than three Britishers could remain in 
Kashmir, only a fiat of the then Maharaja. Gradually, those 
rules were relaxed, but this rule continued. At that time 
chiefly Britishers went there. Very few Indians went there. 
Some Indians went from Lahore or other places of North 
India. Then, came the further reason that monied Indians go 
there and buy up the land there-it is a poor country and the 
people are poor-and thereby deprive the people living there 
of their land. I think it is a very healthy provision and I do 
not see why even now it should be changed. I cannot buy 
land there. I may by origin be a Kashmiri, but do not come 
within the definition. Otherwise, a large number of people 
nch people, who have no particular alignment with 
Kashmir, if I ma y say so, historically, culturally or 
otherwise-only for the climate may go there-buy up large 
quantities of land, thereby depriving the other people, who 
are possessing it, of land later on. Now, here in our 
Constitution, in regard to hill areas, Nagaland and the other 
hill districts of Assam, there is already a provision in the 
Sixth Schedule of the Constitution preventing land being 


Emergence ofNagaland 

alienated to any outsider. It is a very good provision too, 
because otherwise the people of those areas, who feel 
passionately about their land, would gradually be disposses- 
sed of it. Difficult situations would arise. So, I think some 
reference has been made even here that land in Nagaland 
will only vest in the new State. No outsiders will be able to 
go there. Clause 24 says: 

"All property and assets situated in, or used for, or in 
connection with the administration of, the Naga Hills- 
Tuensang Area and vested in the Union immediately 
before the appointed day (other than any property or 
assets so vested for purposes of the Union) shall, as from 
that day, vest in the State of Nagaland". 
Anyhow, it is for the people of Nagaland to make their 
rules about their land. 

I have nothing further to say in the matter. I entirely agree 
with Mr Jairamdas Daulatram that we should pass these 
Bills unanimously and I regret I cannot accept the amend- 
ments that have been proposed. 

Shri A.D. Mani: On a point of clarification. I should like 
to ask the Prime Minister one or two points for clarification. 
At page 2 of the Bill, proposed Article 371A (1) (a) (iii) 

"administration of civil and criminal justice- involving 
decisions according to Naga customary law." Does this 
mean that in so far as those decisions conflict with the Indian 
Penal Code, the Civil Procedure Code and the Criminal 
Procedure Code, these Codes will have to be set aside? 

The second point I should like to ask is whether the right 
of the Supreme Court to hear appeals against decisions 
according to the customary law of the Nagas is admitted in 
this Bill or has been denied in this Bill. 

Shri A.K. Sen: The whole scheme of the Bill is that no law 
of the Central Government will have automatic application 
to the new State. They will apply only if they are so applied 
by the new Legislature of the new State of Nagaland. That is 
the whole scheme. 



The Deputy Chairman: I shall first put the motion 
regarding the Constitution (Thirteenth Amendment) Bill, 

1962, to vote. 
The question is: 

"That the Bill further to amend the Constitution of India, 
as passed by the Lok Sabha, be taken into consideration." 
The House divided. 

The Deputv Chairman: Ayes-175; Noes-Nil. 

Appendix 3 

Nagaland-Assam boundary problem is basically a case for 
the return of the forests and other areas, the ownership of 
which lies with the Nagas but transferred and included 
within the neighbouring districts of Assam by the then 
British Government solely for the purpose of their adminis- 
trative convenience. From the standpoint of the people of 
Nagaland, the case is merely restoration to the Nagas, those 
Naga territory transferred out of the erstwhile Naga Hills 

The transfer of Naga territories stemmed from: 

(1) The unholy hasty decision for indiscriminate encroach- 
ment for expansion of tea gardens; 

(2) To provide a buffer zone between the tea garden and 
the then administered Naga areas; 

(3) To convert the forests (owned by Nagas) into Reserved 
forests for extraction and exploitation of valuable 
species of timber available in the areas. 

Even when Naga Hills District (now Nagaland) was a part 
of Assam, the Naga people became very apprehensive when 
the British Assam Government started to settle people in 
the forests belonging to the Nagas. They had then asked for 
the restoration of the forests and other areas which were 
transferred out of Naga Hills to other adjoining districts of 

Before the advent of the British Government prior to 
1826-the Ahoms and the Nagas were independent of each 
other and there was a clear cut political boundary between 
the two. The known history of Naga relationship with the 
Ahoms, (dated back from the early Thirteenth Century 
A.D.) was maintained through a confederation mainly for 
the purpose of trade. 



To stop occasional territorial encroachment from both 
sides, permanent embankment known as the Ladoigarh and 
the Naga-bunds and the Dhodarali were raised on the 
ground as a boundary line between the Ahoms and the 
Nagas bordering the present Lakhimpur and Sibsagar 
Districts. The fact that these embankments were the 
boundary between the Ahoms and the Nagas are supported 
by records, some of which are reproduced below: 

" The Naga territory was never considered as integral 

portion of the sovereignty of Assam." 1 

" The hilly track inhabited by the various tribes 

known to us collectively as Nagas had never been subjugated 
by the Ahoms and it was no part of the British policy to 
absorb it...." 2 

"The Mouzadar who appeared before me states the 
boundary marks are on the Ladoigarh. The road (Ladoigarh) 
referred to, however, is certainly regarded by the Nagas as 
their boundary; and we have never yet to their knowledge 
claimed any other, the grant of land for tea cultivation to the 
south of it (the Ladoigarh) is a step much to be regretted; 
and on political grounds, Government, I think, might 
interdict cultivation being commenced on these estates to 
the south side of the road still lying fallow either wholly or in 
part. For that matter I should suppose there can be little 
dOubt that on grounds of public policy Government might 
even go a step further and cancel these grants. Of course no 
fresh grant will be given in the direction referred to, and 
inquiry shall be instituted in regard to the circumstances 
under which the revenue survey has carried on operations to 
the south of the Ladoigarh." 3 

! J. Butler, A Sketch of Assam, 1847, p. 152. 
^Edward Gaite, History of Assam, p. 336. 

3 From Lt. Col. W. Agnew, Offg. Commissioner of Assam to the Secretary to Govt 
of Bengal, Judicial Deptt. (No. 185) dated Gowhatty, the 10th June 1869). ' 


Emergence ofNagaland 

"On consideration of all the circumstances the Lt. 
Governor thinks it right to make the prohibition to grant 
fresh land south of the Ladoigarh road permanent." 4 

"It, appears that the Ladoigarh line is assumed by the 
Nagas to be the boundary, and that the propriety of the 
claim seems to be in some measure admitted by the local 
officers who regret that some grants have been made beyond 
the line; and the late Lt; Governor accordingly prohibited 
any fresh grants beyond the line." 5 

"The line already demarcated would never do for an 
innerline for that no better selection could be made than the 
Revenue boundary." 6 

"As a boundary, the Ladoigarh is better than any natural 
boundary which could be selected nearer to area in the 
hills." 7 

"On this point (Ladoigarh as a natural boundary) I am to 
state that His Excellency in Council considers the views 
expressed by you to be quite correct." 8 


The Burmese invaded . Assam early in the nineteenth 
century, but they were driven out with the help of the British 
in 1826, and the Britisher took over the administration of 
Assam about the Eighteen Thirties. 

During this period, the Nagas continuously raided the 
plains of Assam, mainly for the purpose of head-hunting, 

* Fr0m Hon ' ble A - Eden Secretary to Govt, of Bengal, Judicial Deptt. to the 
Offg. Commissioner (No. 530T dated Fort William the 30th Sept. 1869) 

No. 2733 dated Fort William the 19th June 1871 from H.L. Harrison Offg 
Junior Secretary to the Govt, of Bengal to the Commissioner of Assam 

From Deputy Commissioner Sibsagar to the Secy, to the Chief Commissioner of 
Assam No. 4 dated 6th May 1874. 

7 Letter No. 142 dated Shillong the 20th May, 1874 from Chief Commission of 
Assam to Secy, to the Govt, of India, Foreign Deptt. 

8 Letter No. 186R dated Fort William, the 4th August, 1874, from Govt, of India 
to Chief Commissioner of Assam. 



and in order to protect the British territory, the Britishers, 
having failed to appease the Nagas by following a policy of 
non-interference had to take over the Naga territory 
gradually. At first the Naga area was constituted into a 
Sub-division under Nowgong District in 1852, to look after 
the then Naga administered areas, with Asaloo as the 
Sub-divisional Headquarters. 

When British rule was further extended into the Naga 
territory it became necessary to carve out a Naga district, 
separated from the plain districts of Assam. The first Naga 
Hills District was then formed in 1866. The first boundary of 
the then Naga Hills District was notified in 1867, with 
Samagooting as first District Headquarters. This notification 
was issued in 1875. (Notification No. 89. No. 3386 P. dated 
Fort William 24th December 1875 Copy enclosed as 
Annexure A). 

After the Naga Hills District Headquarters was transfer- 
red from Asaloo to Samagooting, the area around Asaloo, 
which was inhabited by the Zemi Nagas (Aroong Nagas) and 
the Cacharies became too far for effective administrative 
supervision from Samagooting, and so a new Sub-division, 
known as North-Cachar Hills Sub-Division, was formed in 
1870 and placed under Cachar District. This was the first 
Naga territory transferred out from Naga Hills to a district in 
Assam. This area is known as North Cachar Hills District; at 
present inhabited by Zemi Nagas and the Cacharies and a 
few Kuki village. 

Aroong Nagas (this tribe is variously called Aroong 
Nagas, Kutcha or Zemi Nagas) is a branch of the Kutcha 
Nagas of the Naga Hills, speaking the same language, their 
blood relations spreading from the villages of Manfpur and 
Naga Hills through to the border of Jaintia country to Jowai 
Sub-division.'- ■ ; 

Though Asaloo, in the country of Zemi Nagas, a major 
tribe of the Nagas, became the first Administrative Head- 
quarters for the whole of Naga territory, to suit the 
administrative convenience "of the foreign rulers, the tribe 


Emergence ofNagaland 

was apportioned to different administrations, namely, Naga- 
land, Assam and Manipur, reducing the status of this tribe 
into a minority of each of the States. 

The following extracts from the Government proceedings 
reproduced show the background of the case: 

"Colonel Houghton's opinion after visiting Asaloo and 
examining the Naga Frontier, was that it would be of no 
advantage even if it were practicable to locate an officer on 
the Frontier of the Naga country and' that no compromise 
was possible short of asserting our sovereignty over the 
whole of the Naga tribes not included within Manipur or 
Burmah, and gradually to bring them to order. 

"I hazarded a doubt which it would be less creditable to 
abandon it than to maintain a more nominal control, which 
offered scarcely any protection to life and property within it, 
though it was sufficient to saddle us with the responsibility 
for such protection. 

"I should more particularly define the tract I had in view 
and to which this report specially relates." 9 

"North Cachar then is normally held to be a Sub-division 
of the Nowgong District in Assam, and is bounded on the 
North by the River Jumoona and the hill country of the 
Meekirs and the Rengma Nagas; on the south by the Burail 
mountains and the South Cachar District, on the East by the 
Kutcha and Angami Nagas; and on the West by the Kapoli 
and Ompong rivers and the Cosyah and Jynteah Hills 

"I would instruct Lieutenant Gregory to proceed early in 
the ensuing cold weather to Samagooting, an Angami village 
once occupied by us. 

"We would thus advance our position steadily from one 

"No. 394 dated the 20th October 1965 from Lieutenant Colonel H. Hompinson, 
Agent to the Governor General N.E. Frontier and Commissioner of Assam, to the 
Government of Bengal. 



wenf'' 1 " 0 an ° ther ' making S ° me ° f ° Ur ground as we 

"-The Lieutenant-Governor therefore, desires entirely to 
support the recommendation contained in paragraphs 30-40 
of the Colonel Hopkinson's letter and proposes to direct 
Lieutenant Gregory to remove his headquarters from 
Asaloo to Samagooting, to abolish Asaloo as 
Subdivision." 11 

"....Holding these views, His Excellency in council 
accepts the plan recommended by the Lieutenant Governor 
and authorises effects being given as soon as the season may 
permit, to all the agreements specified in para 39-44 of 
Colonel Hopkinson's report." 12 

"....I have now to give some account of a group of tribes 
inhabiting part of the great mountain system which lies to 
the South of the Assam Valley-tribes many in number and 
differing m characteristics but which extended under the 
generic name of Naga from the Bori Dehing River and 
Smgapho country of Lakhimpur west to the Kopili River in 

Cachar"" 13 S ° Uth t0 ^ C ° nfineS ° f Mani P ur and 
"I may here explain that the total area of all "Nagaland" 
theoretically under the political control of our Government 
is about 8,500 Sq. miles and I had roughly estimated the 
population m that area to be at least 300,000 souls " 14 
Broadly speaking, the Naga territory under the occupa- 

°Para No. 14 of letter No. 3525 dt. Fort William, 1st June 1865 from Hon'ble A 

ukt' ^ Be " ga1 ' Judidal De P artmen t to the Commissioner of Assam. 

No.. 30T dated the 26th January 1866, from H.A. Eden, Secy, to Govt, of 
Bengal to the Secretary to the Govt, of India, Foreign Deptt 

No. 538 dated Simla the 8th June 1866 from Hon. W. Muir, Secy, to the Govt 
of India, Foreign Deptt. to the Secy, to the Govt, of Bengal. 

Alexander Mackenzie pp. 77. 

"Routh note on Angami. Nagas by John Butler, J.A.S. Vol. ILIV No 4 1875 

pp. 307. ' ' 


Emergence ofNagaland 

tion of Assam today falls under two categories: 

(1) From the north-eastern Naga area bordering Tirap 
district of Arunachal Pradesh to the Lakhimpur and 
Sibsagar districts of Assam. 

(2) Naga areas transferred out from old Naga Hills district 
to Nowgong, Sibsagar and Cachar districts from time to 
time relating to the south in South-western Naga area 
falling into Sibsagar, Karbi Anglong districts (Mikir 
Hills) and North Cachar Districts. ' 

Initially the Britishers recognised the traditional boundary 
of the Ahoms and the Nagas as the political boundary; but 
later on when the British Government set a firm footing in 
Assam and particularly after the Assam Bengal Railway was 
constructed in ,and around 1899, for their own administra- 
tive convenience, big areas of Naga territory were transfer- 
red to the adjoining district of Assam in 1898, 1901, 
1902/1903 and 1923. All these transfers were done without 
the knowledge and much less with the consent of the Nagas. 
Opening up of large numbers of tea gardens within the Naga 
territory required shifting the 'Inner Line deeper inside 
Naga Hills to exclude the garden so opened from Naga Hill 
District and transferred to the adjoining districts of Assam 
as indicated in the following documents: 

"The rapid extension of tea cultivation along this frontier 
gave rise to considerable correspondence between 1869 and 
1873. The limit of the revenue jurisdiction of Lakhimpore 
and Sibsagar to the south was, as above, notified, the old 
frontier road called the Dhodor Allee and Ladoigarh road. 
Although the government claimed as British territory the 
whole country upto the boundaries of Manipur and Burma, 
it had hitherto treated the Nagas tract as outside Assam for 
all civil purposes. The tea planters had long since in many 
places, both in Lakhimpore and Sibsagar, taken up lands 
south of the revenue line, in some instances paying revenue 
to us, and in other to the Naga Chiefs. The earlier settlers 
found it to their interest to conciliate the Nagas, and 
troubled themselves little about Government protection. 



But now the fashion claiming police assistance in every little 
difficulty came into vogue, and the Government had to 
consider what course it should adopt. The question acquired 
prominence from a quarrel between a planter and some 
Changnoi Nagas in Lakhimpore early in 1871, which led to 
serious apprehension of Naga raids." 

"At Length in 1872 the occurrence of a massacre of 
Borlangia Nagas perpetrated by Kamsingias with two miles 
of a tea garden showed that measures for defining clearly the 
limits of Naga territory towards the plains could no longer be 
deferred. Under the provisions of the Inner Line Regulation 
already described, such a boundary was accordingly laid 
down, compensation being paid to the Nagas for the area 
occupied by these tea gardens which lay beyond the Inner 
Line." 15 

"At present the greater part of the Rengma Mikir Hills 
and the whole of the Nambor forest reserve are included 
within the jurisdiction of the Naga Hills district, and this 
arrangement was convenient so long as the headquarters of 
the district were at Samagooting, but it has become very 
embarrassing since the transfer of the headquarters to 
Kohima. Proposals were accordingly made some years ago 
to exclude this territory from the Naga Hills District, but 
they were allowed to remain in abeyance pending the 
extension of the Assam Bengal Railway to this locality. The 
railway is now approaching completion, and the necessity of 
exercising large gangs of coolies employed on construction 
works was brought prominently to notice during the last cold 
weather. Encouragement has also been offered to t he- 
extension of tea cultivation in the Nambor Forest along 'he- 
side of the railway, and if practical effect is to be given to this 
policy it is necessary that this tract of the country should be 
transferred to districts in which the Labour and Emigration 
Act and other laws and regulations affecting I ,ih< mii and thl 
tea industry are in force. It is with regard CO d.< .« 

15 Alexander Mackenzie, pp. 98-99. 

246 Emergence of Nagaland 

considerations that the proposals which were submitted by 
Mr. Davis in 1891 (vide correspondence ending with Mr. 
Wace's letter No. 28118 B dated the 28th November 1891) 
have now been renewed by the present Deputy Commission- 
er, Captain Woods, practically without any modification." 16 

"Experience has shown that although these tracts could be 
conveniently administered from Samagooting, it has been 
impossible to exercise an efficient control over them since 
the transfer of the headquarters to Kohima.... At present 
there is work, and important work to be done by an 
Executive Officer along the railway lines but when the 
railway in completed, this work will cease and nothing will 
remain but the disposal of ordinary cases of railway jurisdic- 
tion and it is, therefore, to meet present rather than future 
requirements that Mr. Cotton is anxious that early arrange- 
ments should be made." 17 

"This proposal would leave jurisdiction over the Assam- 
Bengal Railway line from Lunka via Lumding upto (but not 
including) Dimapur in the Nowgong District. It would add 
to Nowgong a further portion of the Mikir Hills and large 
tract of level and undulating plain country... any question 
connected with the extension of tea cultivation could be as 
easily disposed of from Nowgong as from Golaghat." 18 

"The Chief Commissioner recognised that there would be 
some advantage in transferring the whole area to the 
Golaghat Sub-division of Sibsagar... It is in this direction 
that the Chief Commissioner anticipates the earliest de- 
velopment of the schemes of colonisation and extension of 
cultivation which he has submitted to the Government of 
India. For these reasons the Chief Commissioner thinks it 

16 Letter from the Chief Commissioner of Assam to the Commissioner of Assam 
Valley No. 432 Rev. R. 3675 dated Shillong the 3rd August, 1898, Proposal of Mr 
Davis 1891. 

"No. 822 Rev. R. 5648 Chief Commissioner of Assam to Commr. of Assam 

18 Letter from Chief Commissioner of Assam Valley, No. 432, Rev. R. 367 dated 
Shillong the 3rd August 1898. 



will be better to adhere to redistribution proposed by Mr. 
Davis and Captain Woods." 19 

"The whole of the large reserved Nambor Forest would be 
transferred to that Sub-division, and also the whole area of 
the Rengma Hills, which now lies within the Naga Hills 
District." 20 

"....I am of opinion that the boundaries proposed by Mr. 
Davis are the best and cannot be improved upon taking into 
consideration the convenience of the people who inherit 
certain portions of the tracts. In addition to the land which 
Mr. Davis proposed to handover to Sibsagar, with the 
permission of the Chief Commissioner, I now propose to 
handover another small portion of land belonging to the Ao 
Sub-division, which lies in the plain and is suitable for tea 

"You will observe that it is further proposed by Captain 
Woods to transfer to the Sibsagar District a small tract of 
country in the Mokokchung Sub-division, which lies in the 
plains, and is suitable for tea cultivation. The Chief 
Commissioner is of opinion that this should be done." 21 


Sector A 

(i) From the Teok river on the North-east Nagaland- 
Arunachal Border to Tijit river (Tawkok) the old boundary 
between Assam and Nagas boundary is clearly demarcated 
on the ground by Ladoigarh. The Konyak Nagas of Mon 
Sub-division are in physical occupation of the area since time 

19 No. 822 Rev. R. 5648 dated Shillong 9th December, from the Offg. Secretary 
to the Chief Commissioner of Assam to the Offg. Commissioner of Assam Valley 

^o. 432 Rev. R. From: Offg. Secy, to the Chief Commissioner Assam to: Offg. 
Secy, to Commr. of Assam. 
21 Oote of A.E. Wood, ICS, D.C., Kohima dated 13th May 1898. 


Emergence of Nagaland 

(ii) From Tawkok (Tijit) to Dikhu river, the boundary is 
demarcated at most places on the ground by Ladoigarh and 
clearly supported by the southern revenue boundary pillars 
of Sibsagar District. 

(Area: 31.31 sq. miles) 

(iii) From Dikhu to Jhanjee (Melak) the boundary 
between Assam and the then Naga Hills is demarcated on 
the ground by Ladoigarh, and supported by the pillars of 
Southern Revenue boundary of Sibsagar District. 

(Area: 99.81 sq. miles) 

Sector B 

(i) From Jhanjee to Desoi (Tsurang) the boundary is 
demarcated on the ground, partly by Ladoigarh from 
Jhanjee to Gabruparbat and thence from Gabruparbat to 
Desoi River by Naga-bund, NAGA-B AT/NAG A PATH 
supported by the southern Revenue Survey Boundary pillars 
of Sibsagar District. 

(Area: 51.20 sq. miles) 

(ii) From Desoi crossing Kakodanga, Mukhurung and 
Geladari upto a point on the Doyang is demarcated on the 
ground by Nagabund and following the down stream of 
Doyang River to the confluence of the Doyang and Dhansiri 
Rivers. This line is already supported by the Southern 
Revenue Boundary pillars of Sibsagar District. 

(Area: 535.68 sq. miles) 

Sector C 

Under this sector the maximum Naga area was transferred 
out of Naga territory including the best forests. It covers the 
present Eastern Block of Mikir Hills District and part of 
North Cachar Hills District, starting from the confluence of 
the Dhansiri and Doyang and following the down stream of 
Dhansiri to the confluence of Dhansiri and Thorajan and 
from this point, following the old Naga Hills boundary line, 
as notified by the Naga Hills boundary Notification of 1875 



until it reaches a village called Leike on the present 
Assam-Nagaland boundary. 

Even to this day the area is sparsely populated, covered by 
thick forest. During the last 7/8 years the Government of 
Assam has, however, deforested a big area of the Nambor/ 
Doyang Reserve Forests and brought a considerable number 
of Kacharis, Mikir and others from other parts of' the State 
and gave settlement in this area. In recent years a large 
number of Nepalis/Bangladesh Nationals have also been 
given settlement. 

The new settlers in this area, including the Mikirs who 
migrated to this region from other parts of the State 
admitted that the entire area belonged to the Rengma 
Nagas. All the Tribal people now settling in the region 
namely the Rengmas, Mikirs also Garo and others, are 
willing to join Nagaland and they have sent a representation 
to the Adviser (Shri Sundaram) and the Government of 
India to this effect. . 

(Area: 2825. 76 sq. miles) 

Sector D 

The present North Cachar Hills District is mainly inha- 
bited by the Zemi Nagas and it forms a continuous part of 
the present Nagaland State. Prior to 1866, the then Naga 
territories were administered from Asaloo, the Headquar- 
ters of a Sub-division of Nowgong district, until the Naga 
Hills District was formed in the year 1866, with Samaguting 
as the new District headquarters of Naga Hills. 

In the year 1969 when the tribals of North Cachar Hills 
District were given option either to remain with Assam or 
with Meghalaya, vide the Assam Reorganisation (Megha- 
laya) Act of 1969, Part-II, Section-Ill (2), the Zemi Nagas 
did not commit either to join with Meghalaya or to remain 
with Assam, but they had affirmed that they will remain with 
their blood relations in Nagaland. 

(Area: 1430.40 sq. miles) 


Emergence ofNagaland 

The total area transferred out of Nagaland now claimed 
by Nagas. 

Area under Sector A 131.12 sq. miles. 

Area under Sector B 586.88 sq. miles. 

Area under Sector C 2,825.76 sq. miles. 

Area under Sector D 1,430.40 sq. miles. 

Total area claimed 4,974. 16 sq. miles. 


The prospects of tea cultivation during the British rule in 
India led to the indiscriminate illegal encroachment of Naga 
territory by the foreign power created feeling of acute 
insecurity. Innumerable instances of violent protest made by 
the original land-holders all along the tea gardens to resist 
illegal occupation and even the super power of the Colonial 
Government had to face a lot of problems created by the 
Nagas, within their territory. The slicing out of Naga 
territory, bit by bit, in the interest of tea cultivation is 
supported by documents: 

"As early as 1860, the Assam Company took up land for 
tea cultivation, in the Naga Hills, 20 years or more before 
any other Company was started. Due to occurrence of many 
clashes between the tea gardeners and the Nagas, the 
imperial power had to take preventive measures to ease 
tension along the border by prohibiting any fresh grant south 
of Ladoigarh which was recognised as the boundary between 
Naga territory and Assam. The Leiutenant Governor of 
Bengal prohibited such fresh grants vide letter No. 2733 
dated Fort William, the 13th June, 1871." 22 

"The Southern revenue boundary of Sibsagar coincides 
with Ladoigarh from Jaipur to Gabruparbat and from 
Gabruparbat a line called the Naga-bund coincides with the 
southern revenue boundary of Sibsagar which also coincides 
with the original Innerline as notified in 1876 upto a point on 
Doyang. Reference to the word "Nagabund" is found in 
Alexander Machenzie's Memorandum on the North East 

"Sir Ed. Gaits. History <>/' Assnni. 



Frontier of Bengal. Therefore, the Ladoigarh, the Naga 
Bund, the southern Revenue Boundary of Sibsagar and the 
Innerline of 1876 are identical to prove that one and the 
same line which demarcates the boundary between the Naga 
territory and Assam. 


1. The first negotiation by the Naga people with the 
representatives of the then British Indian Government was 
with Sir Akbar Hydari, the then Governor of Assam in 
Kohima on 27 to 29 June, 1947. As a result of prolonged 
discussions, an Agreement known as the 'Nine-Point Agree- 
ment' was drawn up. It stipulated a modification of the then 
administrative division by restoring all the forests transfer- 
red out of Naga Hills and bring all the Naga inhabited areas 
under one unified administrative unit. Demand for the 
restoration of transferred areas and merger of continuous 
Nega areas formed part of the 'Nine-Point Agreement', 
showed that Nagas had never compromised with the 
autocratic actions of the Britishers on the transfer and 
occupation of their lands by Assam. 

To implement the solemn agreement, in letter and spirit, 
the Nagas felt that it was the bounden duty of the 
Government of India to take expeditious step to restore the 
Naga areas transferred to the plains districts of Assam and 
other Naga inhabited areas. The Nagas felt completely 
betrayed when they found that the above solemn agreement 
made was not carried out promptly. 

2. Being frustrated on the outcome of the Agreement, 
from thence forward serious agitation was launched through- 
out the Naga territory. The first two General Elections of 
the country were boycotted by the Nagas; the District 
Council which was set up under the Sixth Schedule of the 
Constitution was also rejected by the Nagas and the people 
organised themselves for armed confrontation. Practically 
all the able-bodied male population of the time went 


Emergence of Nagaland 

underground. Actual armed confrontation took place when 
some of the top leaders of the moderate group including Shn 
T. Sakhrie were murdered by the extremist group in 
January, 1956. In the midst of serious fighting, Naga 
People's Convention was held in Kohima in August 1957 
where practically all the known leaders from all the tribes 
were represented by their thousands. The Convention in 
their resolution put their strong representation for the return 
of the Naga territories transferred out of the Naga Hills to 


Pursuant to the resolution passed by the Naga People's 
Convention in August, 1957 in Kohima a 16-Point Memor- 
andum was presented to the Prime Minister of India in Delhi 
in 1960 by a delegation of the N.P.C. 

In the course of discussion, the question of creating a 
separate State for Naga areas emerged and under Point-12 
of the Memorandum, the Nagas demanded the return to 
Nagaland of all the Reserved Forests transferred from the 
Naga Hills to Assam during the British Regime. Under 
Point-13 the Nagas put their demand for the consolidation of 
the contiguous Naga inhabited areas to form a part of the 
new State. 

The representatives of the Government of India pointed 
out to the Naga delegation on behalf of the Government of 
India that the boundary of the new State have to be stated in 
the First Schedule of the Constitution, if it was to come into 
being as a State. Under Regulation-6 of 1957 and Nagaland 
Act-27 of 1962, the 3 Districts of Kohima, Mokokchung and 
Tuensang were notified in the Schedule which will form part 
of the State of Nagaland without defining precise boundary. 
Therefore, the delegation was advised to take up this issue 
under the provision of Articles 3 and 4 of the Constitution of 
India after accepting the State. After discussion the Govern- 
ment of India had agreed to place on record the following 



agreements and the Nagas had agreed to accept "State- 
hood'' under these conditions. 
The Agreement placed on record was as follows: 
Point 12 "The Naga delegation discussed the question of 
the inclusion of the Forests and of contiguous areas 
inhabited by the Nagas. They were referred to the provisions 
in Articles 3 and 4 of the Constitution prescribing the 
procedure for the transfer of areas from one State to 

Point-13 "The Naga leaders expressed the view that other 
Nagas inhabiting contiguous areas should be enabled to join 
the new State. It was pointed out to them on behalf of the 
Government of India that Articles 3 and 4 of the Constitu- 
tion provided for increasing the area of any State, but that it 
was not possible for the Government of India to make any 
commitment in this regard at this stage." 

The above points 12 and 13 were agreed upon, appreciat- 
ing the position that it would be essential to restore to the 
Nagas the areas transferred to the plains districts of Assam 
by the Britishers for their administrative convenience and 
the neighbouring Naga inhabited areas to join the proposed 
State of Nagaland. The Naga delegation was prevailed upon 
to accept the State on the consideration that only after 
Nagaland became a State, they could take recourse to the 
provisions of Articles 3 and 4 of the Constitution for the 
restoration of the areas transferred out of Naga territory and 
allow the Naga inhabited areas to form the new State. It may 
be mentioned here that after coming into force of the 
Constitution of India, the boundaries between different 
States were in fact altered by increasing and/or decreasing 
the areas of respective States by different enactments made 
by the Parliament from time to time to remove their 
grievances. There is no reason why in the case of Nagaland, 
it cannot be so done under the provisions of Articles 3 and 4 
of the Constitution in accordance with Points 12 and 13 of 
the 16-Point Agreement. 

It was on the basis of the final agreement arrived at in 


Emergence ofNagaland 

July, 1960, late Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, the then Prime 
Minister, on 1st August 1960, announced in the Parliament, 
the Government of India's decision to establish "Nagaland'' 
a State of India comprising the territory of the then existing 
Naga Hills Tuensang Area. The Government of India could 
not make definite arrangement at that stage, before Naga- 
land became a State, on the questions of restoration of 
transferred areas and merger of contiguous areas inhabited 
by Nagas but the issue was kept open for future settlement 
under the provisions of the Constitution. 

After accepting State-hood, Naga people had hoped that 
the Government of India, according to their assurance given 
to the delegation, would take immediate action to re-adjust 
the boundaries between the two States of Assam and 
Nagaland by returning all the reserved forests and other 
areas transferred out of the then Naga Hills to Assam. For 
15 long years, Naga people have been waiting without any 
solution to the problem in sight. The people have become 
restive and emotionally charged with doubt that the fate of 
the 16-Point Agreement also would meet the same fate as 
that of the 9-Point Agreement of 1947. 
^ The armed confrontation continued, however, until 
"Ceasefire" was agreed to in September, 1964 on the 
intervention of the Peace Mission composed of Shri Jayapra- 
kash Narayan, Shri B.P. Chaliha and Rev. Michael Scott. 
However, sporadic serious incidents continued, with 
thousands of lives lost until the Shillong Agreement was 
signed on 11 November, 1975, through the efforts of the 
Liaison Committee of the Nagaland Peace Council, consti- 
tuted by the Baptist Churches of Nagaland for the sole 
purpose of bringing about peace and tranquillity in the 
State. Today peace prevails in the State. 

Over the years since independence, there have been 
continuous problems in the border areas. Innumerable 
instance of harassment of Naga villagers by the people of 
Assam under the direct protection of the Assam Police 
continued. For instance a large number of Naga households 



were destroyed in 1965 so also in 1968 and 1970. The Assam 
Government posted Assam Police throughout the border 

mZ™ 7 thr ° Ugh t0 thC N ° rth Cachar Hills but the 
maximum harassment was faced by the people in Tijit 

S o mm0ra r A mgUri and Mera P ani ^reas covering 

DovaT r R ? k " T 7 HlHS ' DeSOi Va,le y> Kakodanga 8 
Doyang, Rengma and part of south Nambor Reserved 

from \m $ \o f \V^ f ° f ^ **** t0 Assam 
trom 1898 to 1903 the Assam Government imported 

encroachers by the thousands and settled them in Reserved 

to the nT d ? V3lUabIe f ° reStS which bel -ge1 

ten the Te\ aCtl ° n ° f thC AsS3m Government had 
gwen the greatest provocation to the Naga people for the 
Nagas consider these forests which were illegally^ransfer ed 
by he colonial British Government withouf the knowfedge 
of the people, belong to them. The main reasons for 
insurgency m Nagaland stemmed from the non- 

rlt™TT a the '^ ne Point Agreemen f of 1947 -d 

refusal of the Assam Government to transfer back to 

Sv th° r f ° reStS Whkh the Na S as insider 

rightly their own. Destruction of valuable forests and 

deforesting some of the Reserved Forests apart much 

inhuman treatment meted out to the Nagas by the en 

t rs:r n der the protection ° f Assam p ° L > z*z& 

In order to stop such inhuman treatment by the Assam 
Police m collaboration with the encroachers Lm Assam 

Shri B ^ th Ch n J W H 0 ™ nisters of Assam and Nagaland 
Shri B.P. Chahha and Shri P. Shilu Ao entered into an 
Agreement in August, 1965 to bring about peace and 

notTb e' " T b ° rder bUt AsSam Government dd 

not observe the terms of agreement and the problem 
continued unabated. proDlem 

orobfTt^ th V aCt th3t th6re Was serious border 
Homl A« ^ ASSam Md Na 8 aland ' the Ministry of 

to the Home Ministry, Mr K.V.K. Sundaram in 1971 to look 


Emergence ofNagaland 

into and ascertain the facts of the case. Considering the 
senousness of the problem, the Adviser prevailed upon the 
two States to make 4 Interim Agreements, for the mainte- 
nance of peace in the Border areas in 1972. Nagaland 
Government strictly observed the terms of the Agreement 
but the Assam Government did not, thereby creating more 
provocation to the Naga people. Indiscriminate arrest of 
Nagas on flimsy grounds, destruction of Naga cultivation 
forcible harvest of Naga khetis and looting and removal of 
properties of the Nagas continued. 

Realising that this state of affairs cannot be continued the 
Chief Minister of Nagaland took the initiative in June 1978 
to request the Chief Minister of Assam for a discussion 
About six months after/the Chief Minister of Assam agreed 
tor a meeting in Kohima on 2nd January, 1979 when both 
the Chief Ministers agreed to extend the provisions of the 
Interim Agreements of 1972, both in letter and spirit, 
throughout the entire border areas of the two States and to 
take up the border issue between the two States for a final 
settlement by bilateral discussions between the two Govern- 

■ Systematic continued harassment, pre-planned and exe- 
cuted by Assam, culminated in the unfortunate incident on 
5 ;^ Januar y' 1979 wit « loss of life and properties. The 
Chief Minister, the Government and the people ofNagaland 
condemned the incident. The Chief Minister, Nagaland also 
proposed that m order to bring peace and tranquillity and to 
restore normalcy in the area quickly, the two Governments 
should take up joint action to which the Assam Government 
agreed initially but a few days later they refused to have 
anything to do with the Nagaland Police including joint 
patrolling Instead, Assam ^GoVerrrment opened many 
Armed Police Posts all along the border areas in flagrant 
violation of the-conchtioris of the Interim Agreements of 
972 and that of the two Chief Ministers in Kohima on 2nd 
January 1979. In spite of that, the Government and the 
people of Nagaland continued to strictly observe the terms 



rl th A, agreementS and t00k the initi ative to request the 
Chief Minister of Assam for another meeting to brmg about 

2 n 8Tjan C ua;t97 b 9 0rd IT*' 

Governor o7th^ ?? ^ ^ Pr6SenCe ° f the comm ™ 
Governor of the two States ,n which the two Chief Ministers 

had agreed that the terms and conditions of the Interim 

spSroTt n hese 0f A 1972 ^ * h " a " d " 

Te ln - m f 6ementS W ° Uld be extended throughout 
the entire Nagaland-Assam border from Tijit to North 

tha fall the " T tW ° Chief Ministers had further agreed" 
restored to h" T al,y ° CCUpied ^ the Na §- wou!d be 
As arn r ^ tW ° m ° nths have P assed by, but the 

Assam Government continue to violate even the last 
agreement entered into on the 28th January 1979 between 

Arm™ Po h r ef T^l They haVe °^ ed - a "y -o re new 
Armed Police Posts throughout the border areas 

strktifohf 6Ve , In ,' h ° nOUr 311 cements. They have 
between S/t T ^ ° f ^ entered imo 

Sb^TN^ 68 ^ Sv 8 ful1 ad r age of the 

India-and instigating them to continue to harass the Naga 
people under Police protection. This is the state of affafrs 

ret™th b e order r as today and if Ass - ~ 

to encourage the insidious calculated provocation the 

SKI enUre1 ^ °" her - The'Gov" nm n o 
Nagaland, therefore, would urge that some positive steos 
are taken to i mp l ement the agreements SQ Z T Zhl7 

falHn. 1 \? hSt ° f ReSerVed Forests and Tea Gardens 
falling within Naga territory, south of Ladoigarh NaSwi 

and the southern revenue boundary of Sibsa'g r t ran f err d 
to and now „ possession of Assam in Annexure B and C 


Emergence ofNagaland 

Notification: By Government of India, Foreign Depart- 

In supersession of the Notification by His Honour the 
Lieutenant Governor of Bengal dated the 16th December 
1867 the Governor General in Council is pleased to declare 
the boundaries of the "Naga Hills District" to be as follow: 


North. From the sources of the Dikhore River in the 
Rengmal Naga Hills a line along the summit of the hills, 
from which the Longungtun, Barpung,. and Tarapung 
streams take their rise, to the sources of the Dahorijan, 
thence down the Dahorijan until it meets the Kolliani River, 
up the latter river to its junction with a small stream that 
flows into it from the west, about half a mile below the 
Aitonia village of Kolliani, from whence in a straight line 
due east for about two miles until it cuts the Doigurang 
river, then up the latter river until it meets the path leading 
from Murphulani to the Nambor, from whence along that 
path for about a quarter of a mile until it meets the Tarajan, 
thence along the latter stream to its junction with the 
Dhansiri river, and from thence up this latter river to its 
junction with the Doyang river, and finally up along the 
Doyang river to its junction with the Horipani. 

South. From the sources of the Langting river below the 
peak about three miles almost due east of Semkhor a line 
along the summit of the hills from which the Jinam, Jhiri 
Makho rivers take their rise, until it reaches the hill above 
the Naga village of Ungaluah or Galuah, from whence 
almost due east down a spur from that mountain until it cuts 
the Chuline river, from thence down the latter river until its 
junction with the Barak river and up the course of the latter 
river until its junction with the Zupoo river from whence up 
the latter stream to its source in the Burrail range of 
mountains below the Tenepod Peak, from whence a line of 
about two and a half miles along the summit of that range to 



the Znlin ^ fr ° m thence down the main feeder of 

wlefe^VloTned 0 ^ T * ° f 3 

tTe Tenenu pl\ F a***™? ^ h&S itS SOUrce beI ™ 

and Khu!Ll) tJ7 WS b6tWeen Vi,lag6S of Viswe ™ 

the Nan" mi - ^ T ^ " P the SmaI1 stream,e < below 

Iron /the S> and h?^ ^ ridge dividing the Z »"° 

pCami then a line , tWeen K thlS Vi,IageS ° f Kedima and 
nusami, men a line along the summit of this ridtre from 


Emergence ofNagalaml 

Horghati streams at their respective points of exit of the 
hills and until it meets the Dikhorri River which latter river 
then forms the boundary up to its source m the Rengmaf 

Naga Hills. , r / . 

The eastern boundary is for the present left undefined. 


The Reserve Forests which were either transferred from the 
old Naga Hills or Reserve Forests which were constituted 
after the territories were transferred from the Naga Hills to 
the adjoining district of Assam may be classified into tour 

1. Category (I) 

Prior to the constitution of a separate Naga Hills District 
as notified in 1867 and 1875, the entire Naga territory was 
administered from Asaloo, but after a separate Naga Hills 
District was formed with Samaguting as its Headquarters, 
the region around Asaloo was excluded from the main Naga 
Hills District, but this area was constituted as a separate sub- 
division and placed under Cachar District. After these 
changes were effected, two Reserve Forests were cons- 
tituted namely (1) Langting Mupa Reserve Forest, 
(2) Krungming Reserve Forest. These two forests even 
though notified as Cachar Reserve Forests, were very much 
within the Naga territory, but they were notified as Reserve 
Forests after the area was transferred from the Naga 
territory to Cachar. 

2. Category (II) 

After the old Naga Hills District was formed and the 



boundary notified in the year 1867 and 1875 as a separate 
Naga Hills District the following Reserve Forests were 
constituted as 'Naga Hills Forests': . 


Nambor Reserve Forest 


5 dt. 



Addition to Nambor Reserve 



5 dt. 



Upper Daigurung Reserve 



4 dt. 



Lower Daigurung Reserve 



4 dt. 



Kaliani Reserve Forest 


47 dt 



Mikir Hills Reserve Forest 


5 dt. 



Diphu Reserve Forest 


25 dt 



Rengma Reserve Forest 


25 dt 


These eight Reserve Forests were perhaps presumed to 
have been transferred along with the huge territory from the 
old Naga Hills transferred to the adjoining districts of Assam 
in the year 1901 and 1903, although there was no separate 
notification issued transferring these Reserve Forests from 
Naga Hills. The Chief Conservator of Forests of Assam 
ADMITTED THAT these forests have never been officially 
transferred from Naga Hills to any District of Assam vide 
the Conservator of Forests report to the Government of 

3. Category (III) 

After the transfer of a huge territory from the then Naga 
Hills Districts to the adjoining Districts of Assam, the 
following Reserve Forests were constituted from the areas 
actually transferred out from Naga Hills. Since the constitu- 
tion of these forests were effected after the Naga territory 
was transferred to the adjoining districts of Cachar, 
Nowgong and Sibsagar, naturally the actual owner of the 
land, meaning the Nagas could not raise any voice in protest 


Emergence ofNagaland 

against such Reserves nor could they prefer any claim over 
their own land. These valuable forests belong to the Nagas, 
preserved for centuries together and naturally there were no 
inhabitants in these vast forests, and so the then British 
Colonial Government constituted these forests as Govern- 
ment Reserve Forests. It is pointed out that these forests 
were within the territories which was original Naga Hills, but 
the areas were transferred out of Nagaland, to the adjoining 
districts of Assam without any knowledge of the Naga 
people in 1901 and 1903. The following are the Reserve 
Forests constituted in this area: 


Daldali Reserve Forest 

Nowgong R.F. No. 
o<r\o Ht 99 1(1 1923 

ZJUZ Ul. LL.W). 1-7 1") 


Dhansiri Reserve Forest 

Nowgong R.F. No. 
3454 dt. 17.8.1915 


Langting Mupa Reserve 

Cachar R.F. No. 3454 


dt. 17.8.1915 


Lumding Reserve Forest 

Nowgong R.F. No. 
3454 dt. 17.8.1915 


Desema Reserve Forest 

Nowgong R.F. No. 
3454 dt. 17.8.1915 


Kaki Reserve Forest 

Nowgong R.F. No. 
3454 dt. 17.8.1915 


Geleki Reserve Forest 

Sibsagar R.F. No. 
847 R dt. 22.2.1918 


Tiru Reserve Forest 

Sibsagar R.F.. No. 
847 R dt. 22.2.1918 


Kakodanga Reserve Forest 

Sibsagar R.F. No. 367 
dt. 30.6.1910 

These Reserve Forests though notified as Assam Reserve 
Forests since they were in the area actually transferred from 
the old Naga Hills District, the Nagas claim these forests as 
their own. 



4. Category (IV) 

In this category, the following Reserve Forests are dealt 
with separately for certain special reasons:- 

1. Desoi Valley Reserve Forest Naga Hills R.F. No. 

235 TR, dt. 19.2.1918 

2. Desoi Reserve Forest Sibsagar R.F. No. 45, 

dt. 21.11.1883 

3. Doyang Reserve Forests Sibsagar R.F. No. 28, 

dt. 31.7.1888 

(i) Desoi Valley Reserve Forest was notified as Naga Hills 
Reserve Forest in the year 1902, vide notification No. 2349 
R dated 19.6.1902. It will be interesting to note that even in 
the Assam Forest Rule itself vide the rule No. 85 page 19 of 
Assam Forest Manual specifically enjoined upon the Forest 
Officer of Assam that no operation in this forest should be 
done without order from the Sub-Divisional Officer, 
Mokokchung. However, for reasons best known to the 
Imperial Government, the northern boundary of Naga Hills 
District was revised in the year 1918 in spite of vehement 
protest even from the British Deputy Commissioner of the 
then Naga Hills District, this Reserve Forest was transferred 
in 1924 to Sibsagar District. 

(ii) Desoi Reserve Forest was first notified in the year 
1883 as Sibsagar Forest without specifying the boundary of 
the Reserve, obviously the boundary could not be specified 
at that time because the area definitely falls within the Naga 
territory, but because of the availability of the most valuable 
species of forest in this area, they had to preserve the forest. 
Having notified the area as Reserve Forest in 1883, it took 
them nearly 10 years to give the final boundary of this 
Reserve Forest after shifting the Inner Line in 1882 from the 
original Inner Line of 1876. The final notification with clear 
boundary being specified in 1892. Then again, in spite of 
very strong protest from the local people and the District 


Emergence ofNaga!and 

British Officers themselves, the autocratic Government at 
the State level constituted this forest and transferred the 
entire area to Sibsagar District. 

(iii) Doyang. As in the case of Desoi Reserve Forest, 
Doyang Reserve Forest was also notified covering a huge 
irea within Naga territory beyond the then Inner Line of 
Sibsagar District, as Sibsagar Forest in 1888. The Inner Line 
of 1876 which also coincided with the Revenue Boundary of 
Sibsagar District, covered only a very small portion of this 
Reserve Forest. It is pointed out here that when this area 
was transferred from Naga territory to Sibsagar District, the 
entire Doyang Reserve Forest was shown as transferred 
from Naga Hills District to Sibsagar in 1903, obviously to 
rectify an illegal action carried out earlier. 




Jamguri T.E. 


Amguri T.E. 


Nagura T.E. 


Wokha T.E. (a portion) 


Gildhari T.E. 


Mukhrung T.E. 


Borhaolla T.E. 


Gurjam T.E. 


Kalipani T.E. 


Rajabari T.E. 


Bosabari T.E. 


Modhupur T.E. 


Suraipani T.E. (a portion) 


Bandarsulia T.E. (a portion) 


Kherimea T.E. 


Bahuni T.E. 


New Hunuwal (a portion) 


Desoi T.E. (a portion) 


19. Naga Junka T.E. 

20. Naginijan T.E. 

21. Gabruparbat T.E. (a portion) 

22. Laojan T.E. 

23 Hulwadaw T.E. GRANT No. 157 

24 Rajabari T.E. (Seling) 

25. Hulwating T.E. GRANT No 62 
26 Amguri T.E. GRANT No. 12 
27' Bonderjan T.E. GRANT No. 96 

28. Ahoo T.E. GRANT No. 18 

29. Tiphook T.E. GRANT No. 18 

30. Namti T.E. 

31. Bursala T.E. GRANT No. 21 

32. Deopani T.E. 

33. Geleki T.E. GRAND No. 21 

34. Athkhel T.E. 

35. Lakhmi-Jan T.E. 

36. Nomemee T.E. GRANT No. 22 

37. Ogarijan T.E. 

38. Suntook T.E. ■ 

39. Cherideo T.E. (a portion) 

40. Sufrai T.E. 

41. Singloo T.E. 

Besides the tea gardens given above .under Sectors A .& : B 
there are also a number of the gardens which fall under 
Sectors C & D. 

Appendix 4 

The ostensible excuse for such violent and outrageous 
activities in the outlying areas of Assam is said to be a so 
called boundary dispute involving large tracts of settled 
lands in the Karbi Anglong, North Cachar Hills and the 
Sibsagar districts as also a number of reserved forests well 
within the fully demarcated limits of Assam. It has 
reportedly been argued that the said areas had originally 
been part and parcel of the Naga Hills district, which was 
constituted in 1866. It is being contended that an area of 
around 5000 sq. miles was transferred from that district to 
the neighbouring plains districts when the boundary 
between them was finally and fully prescribed through the 
1925 Notification. It is being alleged that the alien rulers did 
it in order to deny the people of the then Naga Hills district 
of their 'legitimate' right to this vast and valuable plains 
area. The so called boundary issue centring round the 1925 
Notification can thus be traced to the claim for 'restoration' 
of the said areas to the state of Nagaland, which was created 
in 1963 on the basis of the clearly defined boundaries of the 
then Naga Hills district of Assam as prescribed under the 
said Notification of 1925. 

We have to move further down the corridors of history to 
understand more fully the worth of these claims and 
contentions. As is well-known, the Kachari Kings ruled over 
a very large portion of Assam with their capital, at Dimapur. 
While the area around Dimapur formed the nucleus of their 
reign from the beginning, the eastern extent of their 
kingdom extended right into the present Naga Hills and 
included several areas across the Dhansiri river. When they 
finally retreated further south in the wake of the Ahom 



onslaughts, the latters' sway came to cover a still larger 
portion of territory on the eastern side and the whole of 
Kamrup, Darrang, Lakhimpur, Sibsagar, a portion of 
Jaintia Hills, and the whole of Mikir Hills. Effective control 
of the Ahom Kings on the southeastern side extended, right 
into the upper reaches of the present Naga Hills. 

The Ahom Kings had established a practice of allowing 
the Nagas to come to the plains only through controlled 
routes, called Duars (doors-gates). Notwithstanding their 
assertion of sovereignty over the tribes populating the 
adjacent hills, the Ahom Kings as a matter of political 
expediency left their internal administration to their 
chieftains. Taxes were however realised in the form of 
slaves, elephant tusks, woven clothing etc. and the Ahom 
Kings also made grants of lands to tribal Chiefs in the fringes 
of Ahom territory as was done in the case of Assamese 

Following the treaty of Yandaboo in 1826, the political 
control of the entire area comprising- the Ahom Kingdom 
slipped into the hands of the British. Their extension of full 
administration to all the areas took some time and the 
British started by consolidating their position in the densely 
populated portions of the fertile plains. 

Although British political control was considered to 
extend upto Burma in the east, the nature and system of 
administrative control varied from time to time between 
direct administration and least interference. In the areas 
occupied by tribes like Abors, Mishmis and Nagas etc., 
direct administration was not seriously considered till the 
later half of the 19th century. 

No specific area known as Naga territory can be traced till 
late 19th century. The hill areas beyond the effective limits 
of the Ahom Kingdom were occupied by different tribes 
often hostile to each other. They lived on the mountain tops 
and occasionally came down to the plains mainly for trade or 

The westernmost Naga tribes were the Angamis and the 


Emergence ofNagaland 

Kacha Nagas who occupied the hills to the south of the 
valley between Dayong and other neighbouring places were 
mostly conducted from these hills. The British had to 
undertake series of expeditions to contain them since 1839. 
They had to cross the Dhansiri on its southern end for these 
expeditions and for enforcing greater administrative control. 

A policy of non-interference in the internal affairs of the 
tribes living beyond the limits of effective British 
administration was laid down in 1851 following a successful 
expedition in the previous year. Full British administration 
had by then extended to five plains districts of Kamrup, 
Darrang, Nowgong, Sibsagar and Lakhimpur together with 
Sadiya and Balipara Frontier tracts. The southern portion of 
Nowgong district was composed of the North Cachar Hills 
which earlier formed part of the Kachari kingdom. 

Raids became more frequent from 1853 and continued till 
1865, when the policy of non-interference was reviewed and 
a decision was taken to reassert British authority by carving 
out a regular district with the areas inhabited particularly by 
the Angamis and the Kacha Nagas. In order to make the 
proposed district a viable administrative unit and to facilitate 
supplies and transport, some areas of Nowgong district lying 
to the east of Dhansiri river were added to it. A year later, a 
portion of the Rengma area and another of the North 
Cachar Hills, both part and parcel of the Nowgong district 
since long before, were also added to the new district 
specifically to ensure transport and supplies for the Political 
Officer of the Naga Hills district. This new district thus came 
to have a population of Angamis and Kacha Nagas in the hill 
areas and of non-Nagas in the major portion temporarily 
added to it from Nowgong district. In 1875, some more areas 
from the districts of Cachar and Nowgong were added to the 
new district purely for reasons of administrative 

In 1881, the Political Officer of Naga Hills recommended 
inclusion of four Lotha villages on the east, which happened 
to be the only Lotha areas outside the new district. The 



restoration of the Mikir Hills to Nowgong was also mooted 
at the same time. Seven years later, while processing the 
proposal, it was further proposed to restore a Kachari 
inhabited tract lying west of Lumding river to the North 
Cachar Subdivision, which had been formed in 1880. While 
inclusion of the Lotha villages and restoration of the Kachari 
tract were approved, restoration of the Mikir Hills was not 
immediately agreed to since among other things, the 
Rengmas and the Mikirs provided valuable source of 
carriage into the hills. 

The question of clearly defining the northern boundary of 
the Naga Hills district with the then Sibsagar district was also" 
taken up at the same time. 

The Inner Line Regulation prohibiting non-natives from 
acquiring any interest in land or land product beyond a 
specified limit had been passed in 1873. A year later, the 
question of laying down the Sibsagar district boundary and 
erecting boundary pillars at appropriate spots as nearly 
along the foothills as possible leaving the hill slopes to the 
Nagas was taken up. In course of actual survey, it was 
however found that the areas beyond the revenue survey 
boundary earlier laid down was dense and mostly 
uninhabited jungles. The revenue survey had taken into 
consideration all cultivable lands as also lands leased out by 
the Government. It was then agreed that the already existing 
revenue survey boundary should be adopted for the 
immediate purpose of prescribing the Inner Line. The 
question of fixing the boundary along the foot of the hills 
was hence not immediately pursued. Apparently, this was 
done as a measure of practical administration without having 
anything to do with the final determination of the district 
boundary as such. 

The Nambor Reserve Forest was constituted for the first 
time in 1872. Although notified at the first instance as being 
within the Naga Hills district, it was actually in an area 
earlier transferred from Nowgong in 1866 purely for 
administrative convenience. The reserve forests of 


Emergence ofNagaland 

Abhoypur and Disoi were formed in 1881 and L883 
respectively in the Sibsagar district. The Diphu and Rengma 
reserves, constituted in 1881 and 1883, were also located in 
areas transferred from Nowgong in 1867. The Dayong 
reserve was created in 1888 in the Sibsagar district. Us 
southern boundary was the foot of the Naga Hills from the 
exit of the Dayong river. It was not co-terminus with the 

In 1882, the Inner Line between the Desoi and the Jhanji 
rivers was carried further south of the revenue survey 
boundary. Here again the Inner Line was prescribed as the 
foot of the hills. 

Constitution of the Dayong reserve and modification of 
the Inner Line from time to time clearly shows that the 
revenue survey boundary was never considered as the 
administrative or political boundary of the Sibsagar district. 

When a new sub-division of Mokokchung was added to 
the Naga Hills district in 1890, the Inner Line of Sibsagar 
district was made to concide with the northern boundary of 
the new sub-division thus delinking the Inner Line from the 
Revenue Survey boundary. 

During the period when the jurisdiction of the Naga Hills 
district was being extended in the eastern directions to 
include more Naga occupied areas, restoration of the Mikir 
and Rengma Hills was taken up and was strongly 
recommended by the Deputy Commissioner, Naga Hills in 
1891. This area, originally added to the Naga Hills district 
from Nowgong had at that time the following population: 

Assamese 4,875 

Rengmas 9,080 

Kacharis 2,900 

Mikirs 15,948 

The restoration was however effected only in 1898, 
restoring the status quo ante that existed prior to creation of 
the Naga Hills district. 



Two important changes were effected after 1901. The firsl 
was in 1913 when a portion of the Dimapur M;uiz;i originally 
belonging to the Kachari Kingdom and fully administered 
till then as a part of Nowgong, was transferred to the Naga 
Hills district to provide the British administration there with 
the Dimapur rail head. The artificial enclave was created 
and transferred to the Naga Hills district by the imperial 
rulers to meet their own requirements in uttei disregard "I 
strong public resentment. The second w;is in I 1 ).' 3 when the 
Diger Mauza with a predominantly non-Naga population oi 
Hill Kacharis was transferred to the Cachar district as it was 
considered that continuation of the area in Naga Hills was an 
administrative absurdity. 

With the completion of this long process of boundary 
adjustments to facilitate complete British control over the 
high hills, a consolidated Notification was issued in 1925 
fully describing the boundary between the Naga Hills district 
and the neighbouring districts to remove any possible scope 
for confusion. This final description of the boundary has 
held sway all this time. 

The claim that large chunks of valuable forests and 
cultivable lands in the occupation of any Naga population 
had been transferred to the plains districts of Assam does 
not seem to be borne out by the facts of history. On the 
contrary, during the long six decades when the process of 
creating the Naga Hills district was alive, large settled, 
occupied and fully administered areas of Assam had to go 
through the painful process of being shuttled back and forth 
merely for the political convenience of the imperial rulers. 
The extent of sufferings of the innocent people of those 
settled areas can be easily guessed, as apart from other 
considerations they had to bear the brunt of an autocratic 
political administration more suited only to unadministered 
areas. What was finally restored to Assam through the 1925 
Notification was exactly what was hers from time 

Nagaland finally attained Statehood on 1.12.63 under the 


Emergence of Nagaland 

State of Nagaland Act, 1962. Earlier, under section 2 of the 
Naga Hills Tuensang Area Act, 1957, a new administrative 
unit had been formed with the name of Naga Hills-Tuensang 
Area. The boundary in both the Acts was based on the 
Notification of 1925. 

Unfortunately, the reserve forest areas of Assam lying 
close to the Assam-Nagaland boundary have been the scene 
of great tension and violence long before the state of 
Nagaland was created. The pressure on these areas however 
was not very deep when the entire Naga Hills area was in the 
throes of serious belligerency. Naturally, following the 
creation of Nagaland as a separate state, the pressures 
started building up again.